The number of people visiting the flu clinic has decreased in the country, whereas the numbers remains same for the patients visiting hospitals in the capital as well as the hospitals in other dzongkhags.
When the first case of COVID-19 was reported on 5 March in Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNHR), there was a sharp decrease of people visiting the hospital. Around 100 people visited the OPD on that day, but after not even a month’s time after first COVID-19 case was reported, JDWNRH started receiving almost 1,000 people in day.
Health Minister Dechen Wangmo said, the ministry has been requesting the public to avoid going to hospital unless it is really necessary. Even in the birthing center, the number of visitors is more or less the same as in normal times.
From now on, Desuups will be deployed for crowd control and monitoring. They will also ensure that physical distancing is maintained at the hospital. The ministry has been requesting people to make use of appointment system to avoid the crowd.
Lyonpo also said that there has been no case where a patient did not receive medicines on time. But in the future, if the situation becomes worse and there are cases of local transmission of COVID-19 in the country, then the ministry has already planned on how to deliver medicines and checkups for the chronic patients in their homes.
Foreign Minister (Dr) Tandi Dorji said there is not much difference between the government and private hospitals, but the risk the same everywhere. People should understand that if it is not necessary then they should avoid visiting hospitals because only sick people visits hospital, and over-crowding could be risky for everyone. If a person has fever or has flu like symptoms, they can always visit the flu clinic.
Lyonpo said that as the weather gets warmer, the number of people catching the cold and cough reduces. If the people with flu like symptoms are visiting hospitals then they are imposing a great risk for other people as well. If a person has a virus and visits a hospital, then the hospital itself will become a place prone to transmission for COVID-19.
MoH has been requesting the public to avoid visiting the hospital. Only seriously ill people should visit for checkup. The ministry said people are being carefree when they hear no new cases of COVID-19 in the country, and people gathering or crowding in large numbers will increase the risk of spreading the COVID-19.