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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
09BANDARSERIBEGAWAN178
2009-07-23 08:00:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Bandar Seri Begawan
Cable title:  

BRUNEI MOVES TO MITIGATION

Tags:   KFLU  AEMR  ASEC  CASC  TBIO  PREL  PINR  BX 
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VZCZCXRO4380
OO RUEHAST RUEHCHI RUEHDH RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHNH RUEHPB
RUEHPOD RUEHSL RUEHTM RUEHTRO
DE RUEHBD #0178 2040800
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 230800Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4595
INFO RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA IMMEDIATE
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC
RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE 3529
RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUEHGVA/USMISSION GENEVA 0105
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
						UNCLAS BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN 000178 


SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

SINGAPORE FOR MED/BROWNL
STATE FOR CA/OCS/EAP
STATE FOR EAP/MTS/COPPOLAMG
STATE FOR S/ES-O/CMS EPARRA
STATE FOR M/PRI/MORRITZR
STATE FOR OES/AIAG
STATE FOR REO/BKK/HOWARDH
HHS FOR OGHA
CDC ATLANTA FOR CCID AND COGH
USDA FOR APHIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KFLU AEMR ASEC CASC TBIO PREL PINR BX

SUBJECT: BRUNEI MOVES TO MITIGATION

REF: A) BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN 146
B) BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN 165

SUMMARY
UNCLAS BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN 000178


SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

SINGAPORE FOR MED/BROWNL
STATE FOR CA/OCS/EAP
STATE FOR EAP/MTS/COPPOLAMG
STATE FOR S/ES-O/CMS EPARRA
STATE FOR M/PRI/MORRITZR
STATE FOR OES/AIAG
STATE FOR REO/BKK/HOWARDH
HHS FOR OGHA
CDC ATLANTA FOR CCID AND COGH
USDA FOR APHIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KFLU AEMR ASEC CASC TBIO PREL PINR BX

SUBJECT: BRUNEI MOVES TO MITIGATION

REF: A) BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN 146
B) BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN 165

SUMMARY

1. (SBU) Brunei's Ministry of Health (MoH) announced plans to move
from containment of the H1N1 virus to mitigation. As noted in
reftels, this announcement has been expected. Concerns have been
raised that the MoH's public health campaign and statements made by
senior department officials are not accurate and could lead to
unnecessary treatment. Tamiflu supplies are reported at lower
levels than originally announced. One US Embassy staff member and
family have been subject to home quarantine procedures. End
Summary.

BRUNEI MOVES TO MITIGATION
--------------

2. (U) Brunei's Ministry of Health (MoH) announced that containment
of the H1N1 virus is no longer the primary public health strategy
for the Government of Brunei. Instead, like many countries, Brunei
will adopt mitigation standards to lessen the impact of H1N1 on
Brunei. As noted in reftels, this change in public health strategy
has been anticipated. Brunei's new case load has dropped recently.
For the first time in many weeks, no new cases were reported
yesterday. MoH officials noted that they believe now is the time to
adopt a mitigation strategy regarding H1N1.

PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURES: SEEDING CONFUSION
--------------

3. (SBU) While moving to a mitigation strategy and still actively
engaged in a public awareness campaign, recent statements, as quoted
in the press, have lead to confusion and concern among health care
practitioners and the public. A recent public statement by a MoH
official that H1N1, if left untreated, could lead to death, is a
prime example. Little was offered in the way of clarification or
noting that deaths linked with H1N1 are often in persons with prior
and serious medical conditions. Local health care practitioners
have spoken to embassy officials and noted concerns that the MoH's
public awareness campaign is now causing confusion and unnecessary
alarm regarding H1N1.

ENOUGH SUPPLIES?
--------------
4 (SBU) While initial MoH reports, per Reftels, stated there would
be ample Tamiflu supplies, it now appears that current stockpiles
are lower than reported. Supplies reportedly could be provided to
approximately 30% of the population, although this has not been
independently verified. Potentially low level of supplies combined
with a public awareness campaign encouraging treatment (often with
Tamiflu) may cause a further dwindling of limited supplies. The
Bruneian press also continues to report on concerns about the
ability and timing of H1N1 vaccine shipments.

COMMENT
--------------

4. (SBU) New H1N1 case numbers are reportedly dropping and the MoH
recent move to mitigation over containment strategy are seen as
positive developments in Brunei. However, concerns regarding Tamiflu
and potential vaccine supplies remain, coupled with potentially
alarmist and, at times, a contradictory public health campaign.
Embassy staff and families have been fortunate in not suffering from
H1N1, with only one staff member and his family quarantined at
home.

MCINTYRE