Nima Wangdi 

The health ministry will start the second booster dose or the fourth dose for those in the priority group today. Vaccines can be availed from the respective health facilities.

Priority group includes elderly people who are 65 years and above, 12 years and above with chronic medical conditions, all health workers, outbound adult travelers, all front line workers, which includes armed forces, de-suups, drivers (of export and import, taxi, essential goods, public transport) and mini dry port workers.

Chronic medical conditions include heart disease, diabetes mellitus, chronic respiratory diseases (COPD, asthma, interstitial lung disease, active pulmonary tuberculosis), cancers, chronic kidney disease and chronic liver diseases according to the health ministry.

For others outside the priority category, booster doses will be optional, but the people are encouraged to take the second booster dose. “However, the person should have completed three months after the first booster,” the ministry stated on its social media page.

According to health ministry records, close to 130,000 are in the vulnerable group with more than 56,000 above 65 years and more than 90,000 with comorbidities.

Children between five and 11 years have received the second dose as of April 10. They complete one week today and primary schools reopen today.

While the vaccines cannot protect people from contacting the virus, it reduces the severity and the risk of hospitalisation. “This makes it important for people to get vaccinated.”

The health ministry stated that they have enough doses of vaccines for the entire population and every one should come forward for the vaccines.


Covid-19 death reaches 18

So far, 18 people died in the country with and from coronavirus. Most of them were those living with underlying medical conditions.

The latest deaths, two,  from coronavirus occurred on Saturday at the national Covid-19 hospital at Taba in Thimphu.

A 61 year-old woman, who suffered from hypertension, diabetes (not on treatment) and altered sensorium with features of parkinsonism, was admitted to the emergency department with worsening sensorium and weakness. She tested positive for Covid-19 and was admitted on April 11.

“She was put on ventilator support since her condition deteriorated but she went into hypoxic arrest and succumbed to the illness,” the health ministry announced. She had received three doses of the vaccine.

In a separate incident, a 66-year-old man also died. He suffered from cancer on the base of his tongue and received chemotherapy and radiotherapy. He also suffered from severe hypoxia and he couldn’t be revived, according to the ministry. The deceased had received two doses of the vaccine.

Since the onset of the pandemic, 52,796 people contacted the virus of which 9,938 are in the active stage or not cured. About 9,927 are asymptomatic or mild while 11 are moderate or severe according to the health ministry’s Covid-19 dashboard.

According to the ministry, of the 16 deaths so far, 11 were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated and only five had received booster doses. “More deaths among the people who are not fully vaccinated testifies to the importance of the vaccine.”

The ministry is urging people to come forward to get vaccinated.