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Contractor Given One Week to Handover National Isolation Centre

Eng. George Otim, the commissioner of health infrastructure at the health ministry says that the contractor was supposed to hand over the site on June 11.
Men working on door panels at Entebbe National Isolation Centre renovation site

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The Ministry of Health has given BMK Uganda Ltd a week to complete renovation works at Entebbe National Isolation Centre.

The firm was contracted to complete the works by April this year. However, due to delays in approving plans for remodelling the Tuberculosis ward, the completion date was pushed to a month.   

Eng. George Otim, the commissioner of health infrastructure at the health ministry says that the contractor was supposed to hand over the site on June 11.  

    

However, the contractor has not yet completed plumbing and electrical works in some of the buildings and the former TB ward.

Otim says the contractor must now hand over the site next week due to space constraints for COVID-19 patients.

The renovation works commenced in October 2019. They however stalled for three months last year after the ministry cancelled the contract of Synergy Enterprises Ltd over incompetence and lack of capacity to finance works.  

However, work resumed after the World Bank and the Solicitor General approved the award of a contract to BMK Uganda Ltd for completion of the project.  

Eng. Otim says BMK Uganda Ltd has also shown that it could not complete the project within three months as agreed initially.    

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The centre was constructed in 2009 for infectious disease control such as SARS and Ebola.  

However, the World Bank and the health ministry decided to renovate the centre to ensure patients, suspects and medics have separate access points as a way of curbing the spread of infectious diseases.   

Once completed, the centre will have space for the intensive care unit, separate rooms for suspects and patients, laboratories and also separate entry and exit points for the general public and health workers.   

The project also involves renovating the tuberculosis ward to provide housing units for health workers, a restaurant and stores.

When URN Reporter visited the site, there were over 30 workers on the site. Some of these were fixing lights, others painting walls of the ICU and some fixing taps in the laboratory and former TB ward.        

Frank Lutalo, one of the engineers at the site says that 97 percent of the works have been done. He is optimistic that all pending works will be completed by next week.  

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Eng. Otim says the ministry will start fixing equipment in the laboratory, ICU beds and beds in the wards so that COVID-19 patients can be admitted by end of the week.   

Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital is relying on the re-opening of the isolation centre for additional space for COVID-19 patients.      





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