JDWNRH prepares itself for COVID-19 cases

Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) will expand the current isolation room to the new eye hospital if by chance there are more positive cases in a few days.

The flu clinic below community health clinic has been shifted to the helipad at the police ground which is right opposite to JDWNRH and the flu clinic will be used as a quarantine room.

Medical Superintendent Dr Gosar Pemba said a 79 year old tourist from United State who visited emergency on 2nd March complaining of bloated stomach, a general doctor checked him and prescribed some medicine and again on 3rd March, he came to medical OPD with a complaint of diarrhea, so he was checked by another general doctor towards the evening when there were not many patients visiting hospital. On 4rd March, he was better and went to Punakha and came back to Thimphu on the same day. On 5th March, during the day, with a complaint of cough and mild fever, he was sent to Flu clinic where X-Ray was done and found some shadow in his chest whereby the tourist was tested and he was tested positive for covid-19.

Dr Gosar said a total of 4 doctors and three health staffs was in contact with the tourist. So two doctors are in quarantine room and they tested negative as part of the  39 who tested negative. The rest two doctors and three health staffs has not crossed 48 hours, so they are sent for home quarantine for 14 days and if they show any symptoms then they will be kept in quarantine room for further tests.

Dr also said any staffs going to provide care to a positive patients will have to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Currently a medical specialist is looking after the covid-19 positive patient and it is optional for the doctor whether he want to go home or stay back in the old hospital. The hospital is providing food there to the doctor.

Dr Gosar also highlighted few of the challenges. He said the normal staff routines are getting disrupted because people who have got contact with them are now not in duty. So ministry is going to mobilize health staffs from other districts. Another challenge is, now everybody is wanting to get checked including the JDWNRH staff.

Dr Gosar also said the hospital might run short of surgical masks since every staffs have start wearing mask. They have 40,000 masks in Department of Medical Supplies.

He also said patients are staying away from visiting hospital due to the positive Covid-19 case.

Few doctors from nearby districts will come in place of the doctors who will be away for 14 days.

Meanwhile, the covid-19 positive patient is in stable condition in isolation room in JDWNRH.

The Prime Minister (Dr) Lotay Tshering said people should wash hands and take precautions and if people have the flu or fever then they can contact any of the nine doctors. He said on calling the doctors the advantage is they can decide if they have to come to the hospital or the doctor can come to their home and if the trip is to the hospital then they can find out the time and place to come to. The PM said as a result people will not have to wait.

The PM said that from today if a person has flu like symptoms and fever then all the big hospitals have separate designated areas to go to and in the case of Thimphu it is the police ground.

The PM said people should only call and come. He said that if patients came in large numbers and mixed with each other then if there is a positive case it would not be possible to do contact tracing.

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