Epidemiology risk should be also studied

Yangchen C Rinzin

Health Minister Dechen Wangmo said that for the health ministry, for a school or university, or any entity to reopen, the most important thing was that public health measures should be in place first.

Lyonpo told Kuensel that certain measures like physical distancing, enough testing provisions, a response team if there is an outbreak, a WASH station, and proper ventilated areas should be in place.

“We’ve looked at these measures and these are based on the learning from other countries, some of the best examples, global practices and recommendations from the experts,” Lyonpo said. “We’ve submitted all these to the Cabinet and it is being discussed.”

Lyonpo said if these measures were all in place, the government could go ahead with the reopening of schools.

“But we must also ensure that the epidemiology risk is low,” Lyonpo said. “Even if the risk is low but the measure is not in place, I would not recommend opening schools.”

Lyonpo said that discussions were underway on the reopening of schools at certain sectors at the government level. “We must understand the risk ourselves first where the risk is being determined by what is happening in the region and the nature of epidemic. These factors will determine the vulnerability of the risks of opening schools.”

Lyonpo added that risk was more in the Southern borders and based on how the situation unfolds in next few weeks, government would come up with the next strategy.

“We’re confident there are no local transmission as of now but we’re not 100 percent sure there is no local transmission. So, it has to be a decision that is good for everyone,” she said.