Coronavirus: Brunei reports three new cases, all linked to religious gathering in Malaysia

A man wears a mask during Friday prayers at the National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, March 13, 2020.
A man wears a mask during Friday prayers at the National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, March 13, 2020.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (XINHUA) - Brunei reported three new cases of the new coronavirus on Saturday (March 14) following preliminary tests, bringing the country's total to 40 cases.

According to Brunei's Ministry of Health, the new cases are all linked to the same religious gatherings in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, attended by Brunei's first confirmed patient. One of the three cases is a nine-month-old baby.

The Ministry of Health also said that all cases are being treated at the National Quarantine Centre at Tudong District and are in stable condition.

So far, a total of 638 people have been ordered to undergo quarantine.

The ministry added that it is stepping up efforts to trace more close contacts of positive cases, warning that despite the small number of new cases on Saturday, close contacts currently under quarantine might test positive for the virus.

A 53-year-old local man became the first confirmed case of the Covid-19 in Brunei on Monday after returning to the country from Kuala Lumpur.

He is believed to have contracted the virus in Malaysia during the religious mass gatherings from late February to early March, which were reportedly attended by about 16,000 people.