Centres for child care, people with different abilities resume operations tomorrow

Wani Roslan

Child care centres and centres for people with different abilities will be able to start operations tomorrow under the Operational Readiness Level 1 with a number of terms and guidelines in place.

This was announced by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin during a press conference yesterday.

Forty-three child care centres are registered under the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS). The centres have 550 children registered in them.

“MCYS officials will inspect the premises to ensure the child care centres are adhering to the Ministry of Health (MoH) terms and guidelines. Once approved, the child care centres will be allowed to operate at only 30 per cent capacity at a time and will only be open for children aged over one who do not have fever, cold and other high risk infections,” the minister said.

Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan said, “The personnel conducting inspections will look into the centres’ environmental conditions, whether the places are safe, availability of the QR code, other procedures and also care. The distancing between the caregiver, children and others will be also looked into. If these are in place, the centres will be approved.”

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin during the press conference. PHOTO: AZIZ IDRIS

MCYS officials had visited several child care centres and centres for people with disabilities.

“Alhamdulillah, most Centres for People with Different Abilities are well-maintained. However, not all child care centres met the standard operating procedure (SOP),” the minister said.

“We emphasised that ministry approval is a must for these centres to reopen. All norms have to be adhered to, while the premises should be 100 per cent hygienic, fully accommodative and totally safe,” he said.

The minister also said Centres for People with Different Abilities will also operate with only 30 per cent capacity at a time while it will only be opened for people with different abilities at low risk. They should not have fever, runny nose, breathing problems, epilepsy, asthma and eczema; they should be able to communicate, be capable of maintaining personal hygiene and a knowledge of personal health and have an understanding on the risk of COVID-19 and steps to prevent the spread of the infection.

Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan also reminded parents and guardians of the children and the centres’ managers to download the BruHealth application for QR code registration.

“Persons in contact with vulnerable groups should be vigilant and ensure physical distancing and help maintain personal hygiene and a clean environment at all times for the safety of everyone,” the minister said.

The minister also encouraged the public to continue to exercise and maintain fitness, while reminding that mass gathering at areas such as the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium before and after workouts are not permitted.

The public can refer to the guidelines provided by the MCYS in collaboration with the MoH for information.