Construction of the new isolation centre in Tutong is underway. Image: Courtesy of the Ministry of Health

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to the construction of a new isolation centre in Tutong to boost the nation’s capacity in treating the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the sultanate, the Ministry of Development announced on Friday.

Speaking during a press conference, Minister of Development Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Ir. Hj Suhaimi Hj Gafar revealed that the new isolation centre is slated for completion within two or three weeks and will be constructed near the existing centre.

He explained that the current isolation centre is nearing the threshold of its hospital bed capacity, with more than 80 per cent of the 136-bed facility being occupied by patients testing positive for the COVID-19 virus.

“The situation is made even more complicated as the number of confirmed cases continue to rise on a daily basis,” he continued.

In light of this, the minister added, His Majesty the Sultan has consented to the construction of the new isolation centre where construction works have already begun.

Minister of Development YB Dato Seri Setia Ir. Haji Suhaimi Haji Gafar during a press conference at the Ministry of Health. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

YB Dato Hj Suhaimi explained that architects and engineers from the Public Works Department (JKR) have consulted with doctors from the health ministry on aspects of the new centre such as its design and the necessary facilities needed to ensure the building can operate as an isolation centre.

The new centre will be able to house 170 patients with ICU-capable beds and will include special amenities such as monitoring wards for individual cases as well as clusters, an X-ray room and other facilities that can be utilised by the medical professionals.

“With the availability of this new isolation centre, it is hoped to be able to manage any contagion from spreading to the wider public,” he said.

“At the same time, the facilities can be used by the Ministry of Health, to address any relevant scenarios that may arise,” he added.

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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