English | Dzongkha Thursday, April 2, 2020

Preventing the COVID-19 outbreak, Gelegphu

Feb 17, 2020

Towards preventing the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country, health officials deployed at the border gate in Gelegphu screen over 5000 people every day.

They have been stationed there since the 30th of last month to spread awareness on the outbreak besides the screening task.

With not much movement of vehicles, a long queue of Indians is a common sight at the border gate these days. Everyone undergoes the screening.

“About 5000 incoming people are screened at the gate for fever for any symptom, such as cough. On Saturday mainly number of people moving out naturally increases and particularly on Thursday, the market gathering across the border people going in and out doubles,” said Dorji Tshering, the Medical Superintendent, for Central Regional Referral Hospital (CRRH) at Gelegphu.

A Dzongkhag Level Emergency Operational Preparedness and Response Plan have also been prepared for a potential outbreak of COVID-19 in the district. It consists of numerous strategies to control the movement of people across the border and clinical management of suspects affected with the virus

“Avoid unnecessary travel in the first place and avoid travelling to affected areas particularly and if possible avoid large crowds. Again it comes to basic proper and regular handwashing with soap and water, proper hand hygiene all times and proper cough. If you have a symptom of fever and cough, sneezing use face mask and report yourself to the health centre. Avoid touching nose and mouth with your hands,” he advised.

For now, the CRRH in Gelegphu has not received any instructions to discourage people from travelling outside. However, health officials are creating awareness to refrain people from travelling to the affected countries. They have also identified various entry points through the border area including the main gate and non-designated entry points.

Apart from spraying hand sanitizer and screening activities, people coming from the affected countries are made to fill up a health declaration form. Besides, the Gelegphu Hospital is also equipped with a 30-bedded patient isolation ward with one ICU facility and two ventilators.

Karma Wangdi

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