The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is scheduled to visit Galang Island in Batam, Riau Islands, to oversee the construction of a health facility specializing in treating COVID-19 patients.
Public Works and Housing Ministry expert staff member Achmad Gani Ghazali Akman said the President would check on the construction progress of the facility, which will be named the Transmitted Disease Quarantine and Observation Facility.
“It’s not merely a hospital because we will use the health facility to observe and quarantine people with infectious diseases. For now, we are facing COVID-19,” Achmad told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.
He added that the government would provide 340 beds during the first phase of construction, which is slated to be completed by late March. The facility would be equipped with a total of 1,000 beds.
“We have employed 1,000 workers, who are assigned to work overtime until 10 p.m. every day so we can achieve the target,” Achmad went on to say.
Some construction materials had been prepared at Hang Nadim International Airport in Batam on Thursday, while the rest are still being transported to the city.
Fabiyas, one of the construction project’s field supervisors, said President Jokowi was expected to visit the island on Saturday, as workers started to assemble the materials into modular buildings.
“We are worried our work will be delayed because the vessel carrying the materials has been unable to dock at Batu Ampar Port because of a queue,” he said. “We have already reported this issue to our leaders in Jakarta.”
Achmad, however, denied this claim. “From what I understand, the ship has yet to arrive in Batam,” he said.
Batam Customs Office head Susila Brata was not immediately available for comment. (dpk)