Over 400 new volunteers have registered with the COVID-19 Youth Volunteers or Sukarelawan Belia (SB) COVID-19 since 7th August, yet more are needed as the sultanate continues to experience a rise in positive cases daily, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports shared. 

During a press conference on Friday, Yang Berhormat Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Aminuddin Ihsan POKSMDSP Hj Abidin revealed that since the first wave of the pandemic in March of 2020, the total volunteers that have registered with the MCYS has reached over 4,000 volunteers.

Image courtesy of Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Brunei Darussalam

Currently, more than 400 volunteers have been deployed daily at several locations across the country to serve at swab testing and vaccination centers, National Service Program Training Camps (PKBN), hospitals and clinics, hotels as well as food distribution centers, explained the minister.

“Volunteers have also been tasked with delivering food rations to individual who are under the Quarantine Order or undergoing isolation. From 11 August 2021 to 19 August 2021, they have sent food rations to 840 houses to accommodate 5,129 individuals,” he added.

However, the minister continued, due to the increasing trend of positive cases in the sultanate, MCYS is calling for more volunteers to join the effort, particularly to provide aid at isolations located throughout the country as well as distribute rations to individuals under home quarantine.

“Through the volunteers, we have reached a distribution rate of 80% but due to yesterday’s drastic increase in cases, we need to recruit more volunteers and add more distribution centres,” he explained.

The isolation centres that urgently need youth volunteers include the COVID-19 Quarantine Centre in Brunei Muara, the COVID-19 Holding Centre in Tutong and the National Isolation Centre at the PKBN Training Camp in Temburong.

Individuals between the age of 18 years old to 45 years old are needed at the isolation centres, however to be eligible, the volunteers must have at least received one does of the vaccine as well as be available at all times.

This also applies to volunteers needed at the Pengiran Isteri Hajah Mariam Hospital in Temburong where individuals are required to be on duty every day according to the duty roster.

The roles that they perform would include crowd control at the entry points, making sure that members of the public scan their BruHealth code and have their body temperature checked before entering the premises.

“We are calling for committed, full-time volunteers to administer tasks at the secretariat and systems administrator. We are currently trying to improve our process and systems management to accommodate the flow of volunteers and new health venues.,” said Izyan Anver, Head of IT and Recruitment (System & Database), Sukarelawan Belia (SB).

Volunteers are also needed to distribute rations to home quarantined individuals (HQI). Volunteers will be assigned to zones and deployed to send the rations outside their the HQIs’ homes to ensure there will be no close contact with the volunteers.

In Brunei-Muara, about 34 individuals are needed for food packaging and deployment. Tutong on the other hand will require 20 volunteers for deployment and three volunteers for keying in data. Meanwhile, Belait will require 50 volunteers.

Due to the scale of operation, full-time volunteers are needed. So step up and be a part of Sukarelawan Belia COVID19’s volunteer team to fight through this pandemic together as a nation.

For more information, interested youths may visit their website at https://www.sukarelawanbelia.com/ or sign up through the Mengalinga movile application or contact them at 8913762.

This article was first published on 21 August 2021 in our Weekly E-Paper issue 155

THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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