Nima | Gelephu

While no positive cases in Sarpang have needed any medical care and hospitalisation to date, the Ministry of Health is planning to mobilise health staff.

Officials from the Technical Advisory Group (TAG), at the press conference yesterday, said that there were requests from hospitals across the country to mobilise health staff.

A member of TAG, Dr Tshokey, said mobilisation of the staff would be rationalised and sent where it’s genuinely required.

The health ministry is working on it.

If hospitals face a shortage of doctors and nurses, staff would be mobilised from the unaffected districts, as it was done during the lockdown in Samtse and Phuentsholing, according to the official.

“We have already started working on what is really required. We have identified medical officer nurses to go down. If things get worse, we will provide the necessary support, give best to everywhere,” said the official.

“We have also requested Royal Civil Service Commission to release medical doctors undergoing training in Royal Institute of Management, considering the current situation. They already have working experience,” said Dr. Tshokey.

Officials said the workforce in health is limited in the country and is difficult to know which district would be affected at this juncture.

It was also highlighted that measures were in place to ensure no hospital is overwhelmed while following the virus elimination approach in the country.

In the past five days, Gelephu and Sarpang reported 138 cases, 90 from the community and close contacts.

Isolation ward and three hotels serve as isolation facilities in the dzongkhag today.

The dzongkhag reported almost 10 cases everyday in the past six days since the first community case on January 16. There are children and vulnerable individuals exposed to the virus in Sarpang.

Prime Minister Dr. Lotay Tshering said no positive case from Gelephu needed medical care and hospitalisation so far. “Until the formal admission to ICU, all physicians can manage the cases. It would be good to have a specialist but mostly generalists can manage it.”

He added that there have been more than 3,000 positive cases in the country to date,  and only the first index case required ICU care. There are mobile backup teams from regional referral hospitals from Thimphu and Mongar.

“Even though not in number,  in function we are ready,” said the Prime Minister.