New isolation centre under construction

Rokiah Mahmud

A new National Isolation Centre (NIC) is being constructed in the Tutong District to accommodate patients positive for COVID-19. The Ministry of Development (MoD) is collaborating with the Ministry of Health (MoH) in coordinating the construction of the new NIC.

This was stated by Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar during a press conference at the MoH yesterday.

The minister said the construction of the NIC is intended to house patients testing positive for COVID-19 and who need intensive monitoring.

Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi said the present NIC had reached 80 per cent of its capacity with only 136 beds.

“The construction of one more building is needed to address the emerging situation.

The new isolation centre is currently under construction in the Tutong District. PHOTO: ROKIAH MAHMUD

“With the consent of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, the construction of the new centre began yesterday and is expected to be completed in the next two to three weeks,” the minister said.

“Architects and engineers from the Public Works Department (JKR) held preliminary consultation with doctors at the MoH to analyse various aspects of the proposed construction such as the design and special facilities needed to ensure that the building can operate as an isolation centre immediately, as the MoH requires the centre to be completed in two to three weeks,” he said.

“Once completed, the isolation centre can accommodate at least 170 beds for patients; provision of special facilities including individual and cluster monitoring wards, medical services, X-ray rooms and other facilities for doctors and nurses like on-call, meeting and counselling rooms, surau and so on,” the minister said.

The minister said the facilities can also be used by the MoH when any need arises.

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar added that the new isolation centre is an additional building to the existing centre.

It is a totally different building to the one for which a ‘groundbreaking’ ceremony was held in early January. The minister said the one under construction is to build a Level 3 Laboratory.