Revised quarantine SoPs out in wake of breaches

The revised SoPs states that the DeSuung office will provide adequate and appropriate facility mangers and security personnel as required by the RBP and the health ministry

In the wake of breaches in quarantine protocols, the Quarantine Management Unit at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has come out with the revised quarantine management Standard of Procedures (SoPs).

Accordingly, the responsible and accountable agencies for quarantine management are the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP), which is the lead agency, assisted by the DeSuung office responsible for ensuring that there is no breach during escort of quarantine individuals (QIs) to quarantine facilities (QFs) and no breach at QIs.

The officials from the PMO say that the SoPs keeps on revising as per the situation in the country.

The revised SoPs states that the DeSuung office will provide adequate and appropriate facility mangers and security personnel as required by the RBP and the health ministry.

It would also hold DeSuups accountable for breaching SOPs in QFs and escort services.

The Cabinet Secretariat is responsible for the logistic desk for providing timely provision of logistical support, information and coordination and coordination with regional and local task forces.

The health ministry is responsible for the timely provision of technical backstopping, training, revision of SOPs and providing adequate PPEs to quarantine managements and security personnel.

The revised SoPs also states that the additional terms and reference for the health ministry is to review SoPs regularly, ensure uniform application of SoPs, briefing and training of QI Care DeSuups periodically, provide technical input for preparation of audio/visual briefing of QIs, provide adequate PPEs for QI Care and security team and provide contact number for grievances by QIs.

The Cabinet Secretariat will also indentify hotels for quarantine and share the details to the RBP security team for necessary inspection, identify suitable hotels for different risk categories of QIs and based on the final list of QIs from Paro, the team will conduct risk profiling of the QIs in close consultation with Health Desk.

It states risk profiling of QIs from other dzongkhags will be done by the Task Forces and share the identified quarantine facility with the dzongkhag taskforce, for allocation of hotels and rooms to QIs by the dzongkhags

It also states that the logistics team will share details of the QIs one day prior to their arrival to RBP and DeSuung Escort Team and DeSuung QI Care team.

It should also place a poster or audio briefing on each escort bus with DOs and DONTs and contact number, preparation of audio/visual briefing of QIs, develop a contingency plan in case of emergencies en-route and develop a SOPs in case of disaster in QFs.

Similarly, the initial inspection of the hotel premises will be done by RBP, the security team headed by a Gojay will take over the hotel one day prior to the arrival of the QIs.

The hotel management will hand over the property to the security team with proper handing-taking process and hotel staff will remain inside QF till the end of the quarantine period. In times of emergency, a staff may be relieved upon conducting COVID tests and approval from the MoH Surveillance team and information to the security team.

Hotel staff on duty will maintain zero contact and exposure to QIs and have minimal interaction with FMs at all times and staff will also be turned over after every 30 days.

Owners or other person will not be allowed to reside within the premises. If they reside within the premises, they are not allowed to come out.

All DeSuups on quarantine duty should report to RBP and follow SoPs developed by the RBP, QI Care DeSuups to report to health ministry regarding QIs and follow SoPs developed by the ministry.

The DeSuung office will develop appropriate criteria for selection and deployment of Desuups at the QF in consultation with the MoH and RBP.

The Desuups will also not be assigned on quarantine duty for more than 30 days at a stretch. Breach of duty should be reported to discipline committee and penalized as per the law.

The RBP is responsible for overall responsibility to ensure no breach during QI escort and at QFs.

One dedicated QF Security officer on rotation basis will be assisted by DeSuup Gojays.

Dechen Dolkar from Thimphu