Nima Wangdi 

As frequent Covid-19 cases are detected among patients and their attendants at Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH), many are reluctant to visit the hospital today.

A pregnant woman tested positive at the flu clinic after visiting Gyaltsuen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck Mother and Child Hospital recently. A nurse in the hospital was exposed for about two minutes attending to her. Following this incident, the health ministry asked people who visited the hospital that day to go to the nearest flu clinic to test.

A person who visited the emergency department of the hospital recently said a doctor, who was wearing PPE but without a face shield, was moving in and out frequently. “He was sometimes at the flu clinic outside the hospital but still attending patients which is risky.”

A corporate employee also said that a health worker at the JDWNRH said that they have to continue working in the hospital even if they became primary contacts owing to the shortage of health workers.

However, in a recent virtual meeting with the media professionals, Sowa Lyonpo Dechen Wangmo clarified that the hospital is safe from the virus with layers of measures in place.

Lyonpo said that JDWNRH has two layers of emergency department. “The patient will be let in only upon testing negative.” The person is taken to isolation if positive.

Lyonpo said the hospital has three dialysis sections, one for positive patients, one for the primary contacts and one for the others. “Besides these segregated services, health workers also operate in full PPE during the outbreaks.”

Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering said that they have the highest level of safety when it comes to the health workers in the hospital. He said, unlike other professionals, health workers could spread the virus to many people if they had the virus.

“During the high-risk times, health officials are placed in containment and they work shift-wise in full PPE,” Lyonchhen said, adding that around 400 health workers are required to keep all the services running.

Since February 7, this year, some 26 positive cases were detected among those in inpatient and outpatient departments including those samples collected and tested by the hospital from the flu clinic outside the hospital. This includes health officials as well.

According to the sources, three positive cases among the people in the inpatient department of the hospital were detected yesterday. Two other positive cases were also detected in the hospital’s flu clinic.

Meanwhile, the isolation ward of the JDWNRH will soon be shifted to 180-bed Covid hospital at Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law campus in Taba.


Paediatric vaccination campaign day 4

A total of 14.72 percent of the children between five-11 years were vaccinated on the fourth day of the weeklong nationwide vaccination campaign yesterday. With this, 83.70 percent of the eligible children for the vaccine have been covered.

There were only 37 minor adverse events following immunization (AEFI) or side effects such as injection site pain, mild fever and headache were reported according to the health ministry.

The children in this age group are receiving the first dose of pediatric Covid-19 vaccines (Pfizer). The second dose will be administered by the first week of April.

A total of 83,226 children were recorded between the ages of five to 11 when the vaccination campaign started on March 6.