Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Mohd Isham Jaafar revealed at a routine press briefing in the capital that no instances of the Omicron sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5 have been detected in Brunei.

“The sub-variants do not display worse symptoms than the previous BA.1 and BA.2 sub-variants,” the minister said, noting that the previous BA.2 sub-variant is the Sultanate’s most Prevalent.

The new Omicron sub-variants were discovered recently in neighbouring countries and have quickly swept over the Western world, spreading at a higher rate than the previous sub-variants.

Despite the decline in RT-PCR swab testing, the minister noted that the government is still keeping an eye on the situation via genomic sequencing.

“Genomic sequencing can be done if any positive events with the required amount of CT-Value are found.” “Since the beginning of the year, we’ve sequenced 800 to 1,000 instances from RT-PCR testing on average,” the minister said.

Meanwhile, Brunei reported 300 new Covid-19 instances on Wednesday night, bringing the national total to 145,521.

Two of the new instances were discovered after 343 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) laboratory tests were performed in the previous 24 hours, and 298 were detected after government-reported Antigen Rapid Test (ART) tests.

As of May 17, 68.8% of Brunei’s population has received three doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer, BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and China Sinopharm.

There are now 1,823 active cases in Brunei that are being treated and monitored, with 143,477 COVID-19 recoveries.

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