Renovation works of the National Isolation Centre in Entebbe
municipality have resumed.
The works were halted in September after the contractor, Synergy Enterprises
Ltd, was fired after failing to meet agreed timelines and use the specified
building materials such as sand and stones.
As a result, the Ministry of Health sourced for a new contractor. After
getting clearance from the World Bank and the Solicitor General in late
December, the ministry awarded the contract to BMK Uganda Ltd.
Eng. George Otim, the commissioner health infrastructure at the health ministry
says that the works are expected to be completed by March this year.
"We have told the contractor to expedite works on the medical
building which includes the laboratory, wards, intensive care unit, mortuary
and laundry rooms and finish them by February," Otim says, "This will
enable us to admit patients infected with coronavirus at the facility as works
continue at the former TB ward."
He says that the ministry is confident that the contractor can
complete the works within the prescribed period because the overall progress of
the project was at 70 percent completion rate.
When URN reporter visited the site, 20 workers were working on the
laboratory unit while others were painting the walls and door panels.
Carol Twinobusingye, the Clerk of Works says that the contractor
is still mobilizing more workers to expedite the works.
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The National isolation centre located was set up in 2009 to handle
all medical emergencies that require isolation. The centre has been managing
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Sars and Ebola cases.
In 2015, the World Bank supported the revamping of the centre at a
tune of 3 billion shillings.
Once completed, Entebbe Hospital will transfer all its coronavirus
patients and suspects to the isolation centre and the hospital will reopen to
The hospital which currently has over 80 COVID-19 patients,
used to serve a population of over one million from Entebbe, Kalangala, Katabi
town council among others before it was turned into a COVID-19 management
facility in late March.
The isolation centre will
accommodate 50 to 100 beds and will relieve Entebbe hospital and other regional
hospitals that are currently overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases.