The Bangsamoro Muslim autonomous region in southern Philippines opened a new COVID-19 isolation center on Thursday.

According to the government led by Chief Minister Murad Ebrahim, the 100-bed facility in the Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao area was built in 40 days, costing 21 million Philippine pesos ($414,000).

Speaking on the occasion, Murad said: “This is just one of the various isolation buildings either constructed to prepare for the worst.”

“Although we are doing everything we can to avoid such a scenario, it’s indeed better to be prepared than to be caught off-guard,” he added.

The new isolation center will be run by the Cotabato Sanitarium Hospital.

Bangsamoro has a total of 23 confirmed coronavirus cases after 11 were reported last Tuesday among students who returned home from the Cebu province of Philippines. Four people have died due to the infection.

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