More number of people with seasonal flu visiting the hospital in fear of COVID-19

A lot of people are coming forward to check themselves for COVID-19, especially those who have been out of Bhutan and also people suffering from the common seasonal flu.

Medical Superintendent of Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH), Dr Gosar Pemba, said any person with flu like symptoms are asked to visit the flu clinic, below the community health clinic. The flu clinic is open for 24/7. This is a precautionary step being taken so people with flu do not mix with other patients.

Any person with flu like symptoms will be questioned by the doctor in the flu clinic on whether they have been outside country in the last 14 days, and also if the person has gone outside Bhutan where there are no case of COVID-19. If they have not visited places having COVID-19 cases, they are sent back home with medications for seasonal flu and necessary home care. However, if the flu gets worse then they are advised to visit the hospital because even the common flu can kill people.

In case if any person has visited places where there are cases of COVID-19 then the person will be kept in the quarantine room in JDWNRH and the Royal Centre for Disease Control (RCDC) will test the sample taken from the patients.

The person is kept in isolation until the result comes out. If the result tests negative then the person is advised to stay under home quarantine and take the necessary precautions at home.

Similarly, if the person is COVID-19 positive and then the relevant agencies will track down all the persons they have met in the last 14 days and advice them to remain inside their houses. For 14 days the person will be under observation because the incubation period is 14 days, said Dr Gosar.

Not everyone is tested for COVID-19 as it is a flu season. It they have to test everyone then it might come around 100 tests in a day.

Dr Gosar said that due to travel restriction in other countries, it will definitely reduce the chance of contracting COVID-19. The only danger is of its spread in India because border areas cannot be controlled.

“We never know, we could get a case but it may not be that much spread like a China as they have millions in population,” said Dr Gosar.

Meanwhile, JDWNRH has not received any COVID-19 cases till date, except for a few suspect cases where a group of teachers who went to Bangalore for yoga training were kept in quarantine room because one of the teachers died and COVID-19 was suspected. So, all other teachers were tested and it came out negative for COVID-19 including for the deceased.

Earlier a Chinese lady was tested negative for COVID-19, and one person who came from ‘Chennai’ that was misheard as ‘China’ was also kept in a quarantine room and tested negative for COVID-19.

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