Bhutan has reported 47 COVID-19 cases. 9 positive patients have recovered so far.
Until 29th May there were 31 patients. On 30th May a male and female from the middle east tested positive taking the number to 33.
Then on 31st May 10 people from the middle east with 7 males and three females tested positive taking the total to 43.
Then on 2nd June 4 tested positive with 2 females and 2 males from the middle east taking the tally to 47 cases.
There are 23 COVID-19 patients, in the isolation ward in the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH), as of 2nd June. 1 is in Phuentsholing.
There are 15 patients at the de-isolation facility after testing negative.
The COVID-19 patients are said to be doing well.
Once a COVID-19 patient tests negative then he or she is sent to the de-isolation facility to be monitored by the health ministry for any flu like symptoms. Patients in the de-isolation are tested again on 22nd day of their quarantine, and if they test negative along with no symptoms for three days then they are declared recovered from COVID-19.
They can go home with the medical advice to maintain social distancing and if they have any symptoms, they are requested to report back. Even after they are declared cured, the health ministry will still monitor the recovered patient for at least 30 days.
The Medical Superintendent, said after getting discharged from de-isolation, the ministry advises them to avoid visiting public areas, maintain social distancing and not to mix with their family member. He said he is not certain on how far they follow the health advisory.
No one can assure 100 percent that the patient is completely cured, so they are requested to remain in isolation or not to mix around with other people for 10 days.
In order to avoid having the positive patients with those who tested negative in isolation ward, the hospital sends the patients who tested negative to de-solation because if all of them are kept together in the same eye hospital then it will be a problem for health staff and there is a risk of getting re-infected.
“We assume that they will not transmit anymore,” said Dr Gosar Pemba.
The eye hospital, old Community Health Department (CHD), old Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan (KGUMSB), Royal Institute of Health Sciences (RIHS), old OPD physiotherapy have been reserved for treating the COVID-19 patients. In case the number of COVID-19 patients increases to more than 100 then the school in Changzamtog will be used to treat them due to its close proximity to JDWNRH.
JDWNRH is admitting all the COVID-19 patients in the eye hospital for now since eye hospital can accommodate 30 patients. If the number crosses over 30, then the hospital will use the other identified COVID-19 wards.
Meanwhile, Phuentsholing reported its first COVID-19 case. The patient has been admitted to the isolation ward in RIGGS guesthouse in Kharbandi. The doctors in Phuentsholing are already trained in handling COVID-19. As the patient is asymptomatic and doing fine, therefore, she is to be kept in the isolation ward in Phuentsholing, unless her health condition becomes serious. A team of four doctors in JDWNRH is advising the doctors in Phuentsholing on the case management.
The total sample tested by the Ministry of Health (MoH) stands at 17,620 so far. 5,235 people were tested using RT-PCR. 12,385 people were tested on the Rapid Test Kit. People are being tested in the airport and they are tested again after five to seven days.
So far 7,356 people have been in the quarantine facilities and most of them were quarantined in Paro, Phuentsholing and Thimphu. 1,118 people are in quarantine as of 2nd June.
Health Minister Dechen Wangmo said that the biggest worry is treating the COVID-19 patients who are pregnant. Bhutan has two pregnant women with COVID-19. One of them is kept in isolation ward and one is in de-isolation.
However, Lyonpo said ministry has already made preparation plans for such cases. Doctors are identified, and if need be, all equipment needed for delivering the babies are ready. The pregnant patients are provided with antenatal care services.
During the Meet-the-Press on friday, Lyonpo said all the health services are being provided without any problem amid COVID-19.
Lyonpo also said HVP vaccines for girls who are in class VI or 12 years of age will be resumed in June. HVP vaccine is the primary prevention against cervical cancer and given to protect all the girls. All the girls are to be given their first dose of the HVP vaccine by 15 June.
HPV vaccination for adolescent girls was introduced in 2010. A study found that there is a high prevalence of HPV among Bhutanese women compared to the neighboring countries. 1 in 4 Bhutanese women are affected with HPV.