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๐ป๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘™๐‘กโ„Ž ๐‘š๐‘–๐‘›๐‘–๐‘ ๐‘ก๐‘Ÿ๐‘ฆ โ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘  ๐‘‘๐‘’๐‘ฃ๐‘’๐‘™๐‘œ๐‘๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘‚๐‘š๐‘–๐‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘œ๐‘› ๐‘ ๐‘ก๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘”๐‘ฆ ๐‘–๐‘› ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘ค๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘ ๐‘ก ๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘ ๐‘’ ๐‘ ๐‘๐‘’๐‘›๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘–๐‘œ

With the upsurge in Omicron cases in the country, the health ministry has developed the Omicron strategy in the worst-case scenario for the country.

This was divulged by Health Minister Dasho Dechen Wangmo while updating the nation about the scenario of Covid-19 in the country on Thursday.

โ€œWith the Omicronโ€™s transmissibility being four to five times higher than the Delta variant, we are at a heightened risk for getting the virus,โ€ the minister said, adding that the country is at a heightened risk.

Lyonpo shared that one of the reasons for worry is that about 129,000 children below the age of 11 years in every household in Bhutan at home are unvaccinated.

โ€œOur request here is to be very cautious, avoid mass gathering, use masks very diligently, and we encourage peopleโ€™s movement within their zones,โ€ Lyonpo said.

Further, the minister said that the health ministry is not able to put every primary contact in the facility quarantine with the number of cases increasing.

โ€œSo for those primary contacts who have been identified as a primary contact or potentially those who are a primary contact, we are requesting them to stay home,โ€ Lyonpo said.

Further, the minister said if the health ministry requests everybody if you are asked by the ministry to be home quarantined, please adhere to the instructions.

In terms of preparations by the health ministry, the minister said the ministry has developed the Omicron strategy, which has to be used during the worst case scenario in the country.

โ€œThe strategy that has been prepared, vetted and ready to be implemented in case we have to go into the worst case scenario,โ€ Lyonpo said, adding that the Prime Ministerโ€™s Office (PMO) is also equally working on what would be the worst case scenario for Bhutan if this pandemic gets out of control.

Health Minister Dasho Dechen Wangmo said that the health ministry is optimistic to flatten the curve. 

โ€œIn the past two lockdowns, we have managed to flatten the curve and come to zero community transmission. So, we are also very optimistic that if we have the required solidarity and support from the public that we will be able to fight this battle successfully.โ€

Lyonpo also shared about the importance of people to understand about hospitalization following infection from the virus.

โ€œNine out of 10 are unvaccinated, who are being hospitalized globally. The global data shows that nine out of 10 people who are hospitalized with severe diseases are unvaccinated. So in Bhutan, we have a high vaccine coverage, so we will also be rolling out the booster dose for frontline workers and the rest of the populations,โ€ Lyonpo said.

“We anticipate that we will have the solidarity from the public and that they will come forward to get the booster dose as well,โ€ the minister added.

And with Thimphu being the capital city with a significantly higher population and population density, the minister said relaxation will depend on the situation of the cases.

โ€œWe are again appealing to the public that you have to be very careful. So if you are coming out within your mega zone, please make sure you are not mixing around or you are not going to your neighbourโ€™s house or your relativeโ€™s house. What we are seeing with the Omicron is that it is spreading faster than the Delta variant,โ€ Lyonpo said.

โ€œIf we do such things, in the next 10 days, I think we should be very comfortable. So with words of caution, I would like to request your support and solidarity,โ€ the minister added.ย 

Kinley Yonten from Thimphu