2020 coronavirus pandemic in Bhutan

The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic was confirmed to have reached Bhutan in March 2020.

2020 coronavirus pandemic in Bhutan
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationBhutan
Index caseParo
Arrival date6 March 2020
(1 month and 2 days)
Confirmed cases5
Recovered2
Deaths
0

BackgroundEdit

On 12 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019.[1][2]

The case fatality ratio for COVID-19 has been much lower than SARS of 2003,[3][4] but the transmission has been significantly greater, with a significant total death toll.[5][3]

TimelineEdit

March 2020Edit

6 March: Bhutan confirmed its first COVID-19 case, a 76-year-old US male who travelled to the country via India. Around 90 people who came directly in contact with him, along with his 59-year-old partner, driver, and guide were quarantined.[6]

Bhutan immediately restricted entry of foreign tourists for two weeks. Schools in three areas including capital Thimphu were closed.[6]

The 76-year-old American male was evacuated to the United States on 13 March.

20 March: the 59-year old partner of the American tourist tested positive for COVID-19[7] 14 days into quarantine, 19 days after entering Bhutan and 28 days after her first contact with the index case.[8] Although their driver and guide tested negative, both were being held in extended quarantine even though their quarantine period had ended.[9]

22 March: Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the king of Bhutan, announced in a national address that the country's land borders would be sealed off.[10]

23 March: All International borders were sealed. Around 5,000 Bhutanese living the Indian town of Jaigaon West Bengal, bordering Bhutan were evacuated to neighbouring Phuntsholing.[11]

24 March: The government banned the import of Doma (betel nut) and Pani (betel leaf), as well as fruit, vegetables, and meat in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.[12] It also closed all its borders with India.[13]

25 March: A student in Bhutan who had returned from the United Kingdom was found to be positive for COVID-19, the third case in the country.[14][12]

29 March: According to the Ministry of Health, a returning student in the quarantine facility tested positive. The patient was moved to the isolation ward in Thimphu.[15] This is the 4th positive case in Bhutan and the 2nd Bhutanese to be infected by COVID-19 in the country. A Bhutanese national in New York was also confirmed positive.[16]

31 March: the Prime Minister, Dr. Lotay Tshering, announced that the quarantine period for COVID-19 in Bhutan will be extended from 14 to 21 days, even though the international (WHO) standard for quarantine is 14 days. He said: “There is the risk of testing positive even after quarantining for 14 days. That is why we have decided to extend the quarantine period.” On this date Bhutan had 3,059 people held in quarantine facilities and 339 people in home quarantine.[17]

April 2020Edit

1 April: it was announced that a Butanese student who had been studying in the US, and was under facility quarantine in Thimphu, has tested positive for Coronavirus. She has been moved to the isolation centre and is reported to be in a stable condition. This is the 5th case of COVID-19 detected in the country.[18]

2 April: It was announced that the first two COVID-19 cases detected in Bhutan (an American tourist and his travelling partner) have now recovered.[19]

7 April: With the numbers of coronavirus infections in neighbouring India rising, Increased security and prevention measures have been set up in the Sarpang and Samtse districts which border the Indian states of Assam and West Bengal. These measures include round-the-clock surveillance of all formal and informal border crossing points, and door-to-door COVID-19 awareness and prevention campaigns.[20][21]

 
Regional Referral Hospital, Mongar

8 April: A special isolation hospital equipped to treat any COVID-19 patients in the eastern region has been set up in the Royal Guest House at Mongar. It has 24 beds with a surge capacity for an additional 15 beds. A COVID-19 testing lab was also been set up at the Mongar Regional Referral Hospital and so far seven suspected cases have been tested there. All the test results were negative. The Mongar District administration has also identified 30 quarantine centres in the district. Currently only one person in the district is in quarantine.[22]


Summary of COVID-19 Medical Cases in BhutanEdit

Summary of COVID-19 cases in Bhutan ()

Case
no.
Date Age Gender Nationality Facility of
admission or
consultation
Had recent
travel history
abroad
Status Notes Ref.
1 March 6 76 Male   USA JDWNRH, Thimphu Yes Recovered Traveled from Assam, India. Partner of Case No. 2; Flown to USA on March 13. [6][23]
2 March 20 59 Female JDWNRH, Thimphu| Yes Recovered Travelling partner of Case No.1.
Tested positive only 14+ days into quarantine, 19 days after entering Bhutan and 28 days after her first contact with case 1.
[24][23]
3 March 25 Female   Bhutan JDWNRH, Thimphu Yes Admitted Student returned from UK. Transferred from quarantine facility to JDWNRH on testing positive. [25]
4 March 29   Bhutan JDWNRH, Thimphu Yes Admitted Returning Bhutanese student. Transferred from quarantine facility to JDWNRH. [26]
5 April 1 Female   Bhutan JDWNRH, Thimphu Yes Admitted Student returned from USA. Transferred from quarantine facility to JDWNRH. [27]


ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Elsevier. "Novel Coronavirus Information Center". Elsevier Connect. Archived from the original on 30 January 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  2. ^ Reynolds, Matt (4 March 2020). "What is coronavirus and how close is it to becoming a pandemic?". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Archived from the original on 5 March 2020. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Crunching the numbers for coronavirus". Imperial News. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  4. ^ "High consequence infectious diseases (HCID); Guidance and information about high consequence infectious diseases and their management in England". GOV.UK. Archived from the original on 3 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  5. ^ "World Federation Of Societies of Anaesthesiologists – Coronavirus". www.wfsahq.org. Archived from the original on 12 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  6. ^ a b c "Bhutan confirms first coronavirus case". The Economic Times. 6 March 2020. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  7. ^ Wangchuk, Kinga (22 March 2020). "Bhutan Confrms Second COVID-19 Case". The Journalist. Thimphu.
  8. ^ Tenzing Lamsang (21 March 2020). "Partner tests positive 14 days into quarantine, 19 days into entering Bhutan and 28 days after 1st contact with index case". The Bhutanese. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  9. ^ "Bhutan detects 2nd confirmed COVID-19 case". BBS. Thimphu: Bhutan Broadcasting Service. 20 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  10. ^ "Instagram post by Her Majesty Queen Jetsun Pema • Mar 23, 2020 at 3:10am UTC". Instagram. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  11. ^ Sonam Penjor (7 April 2020). "Bhutanese evacuees from Jaigaon well looked after by the Office of the Gyalpoi Zimpon". BBS. Bhutan Broadcasting Service. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  12. ^ a b "Bhutan confirms third COVID-19 case". Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  13. ^ "Coronavirus: Bhutan government closes all international borders with India". Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  14. ^ Youten Tshedup (27 March 2020). "First Bhutanese to test positive for Covid-19". Kuensel. Thimphu. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  15. ^ @MoHBhutan (29 March 2020). "Update: 4th case" (Tweet). Retrieved 29 March 2020 – via Twitter.
  16. ^ @PMBhutan (29 March 2020). "Message from the Prime Minister" (Tweet). Retrieved 29 March 2020 – via Twitter.
  17. ^ "Bhutan extends quarantine period for COVID-19 to 21 days". South Asian Monitor. 31 March 2020. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  18. ^ "COVID-19 Status in Bhutan & New York". BBS. Bhutan Broadcasting Service. 2 April 2020. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  19. ^ Passang Dorji (3 April 2020). "Bhutan's first two COVID-19 patients have recovered". BBS. Bhutan Broadcasting Service. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  20. ^ Karma Wangdi (7 April 2020). "COVID-19 control measures in Sarpang Dzongkhag". BBS. Bhutan Broadcasting Service. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  21. ^ "Samtse Dzongkhag steps up COVID-19 preventive measures". BBS. Bhutan Broadcasting Service. 7 April 2020. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  22. ^ Sonam Tshering (8 April 2020). "COVID-19 Hospital in Monggar ready to handle any outbreak in the eastern region". BBS. Bhutan Broadcasting Service. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  23. ^ a b @MoHBhutan (2 April 2020). "National situational update on COVID-19" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  24. ^ Tenzing Lamsang (21 March 2020). "Partner tests positive 14 days into quarantine, 19 days into entering Bhutan and 28 days after 1st contact with index case". The Bhutanese. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  25. ^ Sangay Chezom (26 March 2020). "A student in quarantine centre tests positive for COVID-19 taking the number to 3 cases". BBS. Bhutan Broadcastng Service. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  26. ^ @MoHBhutan (29 March 2020). "Update: 4th case" (Tweet). Retrieved 29 March 2020 – via Twitter.
  27. ^ "COVID-19 Status in Bhutan & New York". BBS. Bhutan Broadcasting Service. 2 April 2020. Retrieved 3 April 2020.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit