To reduce crowding inside the hospital building, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) has imposed the token system and screening of body temperature for visitors at the hospital entrance.
Medical Superintendent of JDWNRH, Dr Gosar Pemba, said some patients visit JDWNRH as early as 8 am to take the tokens handed out at 8:30 am. The token system reduces overcrowding of patients inside the hospital building.
Only 10 patients are called inside in each department at a time so that physical distancing can be maintained. The other patients are made to wait outside the building for their token numbers to be called by DeSuups on duty.
The visitors or patients have less chances of catching infections outdoors than indoors, said Dr Gosar.
He said the patients find the token system inconvenient, but the hospital has to continue with it for the time being. However, Dr Gosar said in another two weeks’ time, if there is no positive COVID-19 cases reported from the community, then the token system will be discontinued.
Around 1,500 patients visit JDWNRH every day. During the post lockdown, the hospital kept the tele-consultation service open for a week with very less number of patients calling in. It was found that patients prefer receive the medical consultation in person, therefore, the tele-consultation has stopped.
JDWNRH services are now open with full health staff strength, but the one patient one attendant rule is still in place. The hospital staff is tested for COVID-19 twice in a month.
Any person having flu like symptom is barred from entering the hospital. However, for emergency cases, the patients are taken in ER and they are tested for COVID-19 and simultaneously they are treated. If the patients test negative then they are immediately admitted to the ward.
Dr Gosar said the hospital has installed additional hand washing taps. Everybody has to follow non-pharmaceutical measures, as there is no guarantee that the person will not get infected or will not infect others.
“Everything will get back to normal once WHO announces that the pandemic is over,” Dr Gosar said.
Meanwhile, as of 19 February, there are nine COVID-19 patients in the country, and they are said to be doing well. Since the number of patients is less, the health staff from the other districts have been sent back.