Photo Courtesy: Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital facebook

How JDWNRH will provide health services when there is community transmission

Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) is prepared for the worst case scenario, as even in case of community transmission, the hospital will still function but limited to emergency services including referral.

All the elective surgeries will be postponed and only emergency surgeries will be conducted. Similarly the other services are to be scaled down. Therefore, the workload will be reduced and so will the number of doctors in each department.

Medical Superintendent, Dr Gosar Pemba, said one doctor would be assigned to attend to patients in a day, and another doctor will take over the next day. The other health staff in every department will follow a similar routine.

The hospital has also separated the health staff that is above 55 years of age, and staff with hypertension or diabetes will not be sent to look after COVID-19 patients. They will work in inpatient, OPD and in normal health services.

Dr Gosar Pemba said if the local transmission happens in Thimphu, it is likely that the number of admission will also decrease, except for emergency cases and the routine work will carry on. All the health staff will be wearing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) but a little different from the COVID-19 ward. The health staff will use facemasks, gown and eye shield. And triaging system will help to sort people with fever and cough, and they will not allow to people enter the hospital building.

Dr Gosar said that the community transmission is defined as a case where a person does not know from where he or she got infected. But when a community transmission happens, it does not mean there will be thousands of cases. For example, if Dechencholing area gets one or two positive cases, then the entire area will be locked down, and no people will be allowed to enter the area and the people inside will be allowed to go out of the containment area except for the health staff. The health ministry will start testing all the people who have had contact with the positive case in the particular area.

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