PKBN alumni join in COVID-19 combat

Lyna Mohamad

Among the volunteering groups for the COVID-19 outbreak are several National Service Programme (PKBN) alumni from the second to the recent ninth intakes.

Deputy Commandant of the PKBN Training Camp in Batu Apoi in the Temburong District Major (Rtd) Sofian bin Haji Mohd Yassin told the Bulletin, “Currently there is no training at the camp, and the volunteers are not engaged in any activities. They decided to turn up as volunteers as they know this is the time their skills are needed.

Alhamdulillah, the support from their parents is overwhelming, and the volunteers said it is much better to learn by volunteering as they have nothing much to do at home. They have been trained to be robust, persistent and ready to serve, just like the PKBN motto: Bersedia, Berkhidmat, Berbakti. It’s time for them to put what they learnt during their three months of training at PKBN into practice.”

Some 45 PKBN volunteers aged 18 to 21 years at the Community Development Department of (JAPEM)’s Pusat Bahagia, who have taken on a supportive role in helping the local hotels and arranging dry supplies.

“We are more of a rear part, rather than as frontliners. We leave that to the professionals from the Ministry of Health (MoH),” said Major (Rtd) Sofian.

ABOVE & BELOW: A PKBN volunteer; and Deputy Commandant of the PKBN Training Camp in Batu Apoi in the Temburong District Major (Rtd) Sofian bin Haji Mohd Yassin. PHOTOS: RAHWANI ZAHARI

Last week, the PKBN Training Camp catered for 33 students returning from Kuala Lumpur, who were each allocated separate single rooms for isolation, before being transferred to an isolation centre in the Brunei-Muara District.

The PKBN Training Camp has 24 rooms for females and 30 for males in separate blocks. The meals are provided by the Temburong District Office, while the basic necessities for the tenants are donated from all over Brunei and collected at the MoH donation centre.

“The basic necessities include slippers, prayer mats and toiletries and when the tenants come in, they would be well provided for,” said Major (Rtd) Sofian.

On the challenges encountered in the Temburong District, he said it was a waiting game, “as we don’t know when the next group will arrive.

“Another challenge is that after the tenants emerge from isolation, the rooms have to be sanitised by an assigned company before allowing anyone else to stay there. It is in the red zone, but we have been coordinating well with the authorities.”