Nima Wangdi

With the new phase of Covid-19 management shifting responsibility to clinical management, additional dedicated Covid-19 hospitals are ready with isolation beds at national and regional levels, the Prime Minister’s Office stated.

According to a press release the office issued, four new hospitals dedicated for Covid-19 are ready and one is at the verge of completion in addition to the existing hospitals in the country.

“There is national Covid-19 hospital in Thimphu with 250 beds, Gelephu Covid-19 hospital with 210 beds, Phuntsholing Covid-19 hospital with 268 beds, Mongar Covid-19 hospital with 75 beds,” it stated. “The Covid-19 hospital in Trashigang is expected to be completed in a month’s time.”

Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering, during the press briefing on Facebook on the evening of March 14, said there are already about 1,200 beds in all the hospitals and grade-1 BHUs. “We have created some 750 additional beds for the Covid-19 management.”

The press release stated that in terms of human resource deployment, the national Covid-19 management team in Thimphu and regional teams in the east and south are established. “Under their guidance, 25 specialists required are assigned to the Covid-19 wards in Gelephu, Mongar, Bumthang, Samtse, and Phuntsholing hospitals.”

It also stated that 113 general doctors and other health professionals, supported by DeSuup Plus Personnel are also deployed across all health centres in the country. “A virtual clinical management team (vCMT) has also been activated in which a team of medical doctors attend to every Covid-19 positive patient.”

According to the press release, symptomatic patients will be immediately picked and put in the hospitals for treatment.

It stated that a control room has been set up at former Jigme Singye Wangchuck Law School in Taba, Thimphu, which is interlinked with all hospitals in the country. “The situations of positive cases, symptomatic cases and hospitalisation in real-time will be monitored from there round the clock.”

It also stated that teams comprising a doctor, nurse and a DeSuup Plus are also being dispatched to all far-flung places. “Since it is a respiratory disease, oxygen will also be made available at homes through the monitoring mechanism if required.”

Lyonchhen said the concept of maintaining zero Covid in the community with lockdowns has now changed. “Our priority now is to control the surge in positive cases in the community and prevent death.”

He said the lockdown will still be imposed when the bed occupancy in the hospitals touch the threshold or an emergence of a lethal variant in the future.