Training to Battle COVID-19

Submitted by Kinley Tshering
April 28, 2020

Our country Bhutan is very small, nestled by China to the north and India to the south located in eastern Himalaya. We have the advantage of a small population and pragmatic leaders who have been intervening right things at the right time in a well-planned manner to battle against Covid-19 pandemic. We had our first imported case on 6th March 2020 and on the same day, our government restricted all the tourist entry and closed schools in 4 of the 20 districts where the patient had travel history. Soon all the schools were closed and our international boders sealed with round the clock securities. All the vehicles carrying uninterrupted essential consignment from neighbouring India are scrutinized and disinfected. All the relevant stakeholders are working relentlessly endeavouring to keep the virus at bay. Nevertheless, as of today, we have 7 imported cases, 2 left to their country and1 currently undergoing treatment.

Ministry of Health has been proactive in distributing free hand sanitisers to the public and conducting various awareness and advocacy programmes through various mainstream media. They have augmented the mobilization of resources like PPEs, medical equipment including ventilators enough to see through the pandemic period and preparing flu clinic, observation and isolation wards/units. All Bhutanese working and studying abroad are all quarantined for 21 days and only sent home upon confirmatory test at the end of the quarantine period.

Health care providers are trained vigorously on facets of the management of Covid-19 including ICU training. So far, almost all the staffs in my national referral hospital are trained on donning and doffing of PPE.  ICU training is currently going on and so far trained around 200 nurses including from districts hospitals. Fortunately, all the frontline health professionals who cared and who are caring for the patients are doing well.