The Prime Minister Dasho Dr Lotay Tshering said that the most important thing in phase two is the protection of the vulnerable.
He said while the biggest risk is for them, but if they are vaccinated with a booster dose then the risks reduce significantly. The PM said that even then they are the more vulnerable ones.
“As we get more cases this group of the elderly, the co morbid and those under 5 are the most important to take care of,” said Lyonchhen.
He said if people are unable to take care of or protect vulnerable people at home, then there is going to be reverse isolation.
Lyonchhen said this program is offered from His Majesty’s Office for the vulnerable people.
For those at home there will be certain services, but if they are not safe at home or if the family cannot manage then they will be kept in an isolation facility, they will be checked up, and they will be given vitamins to correct all micro nutrient deficiencies to strengthen their bodies.
The PM said there will soon be an order for this isolation facility to be set up in hotels, monasteries, throms and Dzongkhags.
“We still cannot reduce the risks. So firstly we need to work on making sure this group is not infected and secondly when they are infected we need to monitor their symptoms. In Thimphu at the National COVID hospital at Taba we have a group of doctors who keep calling the home of vulnerable patients to enquire on their symptoms and issues,” said the PM.
He said after being infected if there are no strong symptoms within 5 to 6 days then there will not be any strong symptoms thereafter.
“We are doing relaxations in phases mainly to protect this vulnerable group. If a lot of people get infected in a short duration, then there will be more hospitalizations and if there are too many patients then we will not be able to take care of them,” said the PM.
He pointed out there will not be enough beds, oxygen, doctors, glucose and this is how most of the deaths in other countries have occurred.
“Once we open up slowly then the number of cases coming to the hospital will also be manageable.”
The PM said only way to prevent any risk (for the vulnerable) is to have long lockdowns for elimination and then open up but again after every two three months they will have to do lockdowns as Omicron is highly transmissible, and so the lockdown periods will become longer than the open periods.
He said virus is not as dangerous as before, people get well and since people have to work and eat this is why the country is in phase two.