PM quizzed on new measures and strategies in quarantine facilities

The government has spent Nu 610mn only for the quarantine facilities so far, says PM

The Member of Parliament (MP) from Jomotshangkha-Martshala constituency in Samdrup Jongkhar, Norbu Wangzom, questioned Prime Minister Dr. Lotay Tshering on the new measures and strategies taken up by the Prime Minister‘s Office to prevent Covid-19 cases arising from quarantine centers during the question and answer session of the National Assembly yesterday.

As sources tell the outbreak of such COVID-19 cases arising from the quarantine areas and since the quarantine facilities are monitored by the Prime Minister’s Office, the MP asked the Prime Minister to brief the House on the new measures and strategies.

Responding to the question, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said from the first positive case of the COVID-19 in the country around 65,250 individuals have stayed in  quarantine facilities.

“The government has spent an amount of Nu 610mn only for the quarantine facilities so far,” the Lyonchhen said.

According to the Lyonchhen, in the 20 dzongkhags around 570 front-liners including De-Suups and police personnel are serving at the quarantine facilities and 270 hotels are being used as quarantine facilities in the country.

Lyonchhen said that they assumed in the previous incident that the virus might have contacted from the airport at Paro, front-liners breaching quarantine protocols in Thimphu and front-liners from three quarantine facilities detected positive in Phuentsholing.

However, Lyonchhen mentioned that the question indicated that the lapses are from the government and front-liners for community transmission, which is very sad to know.

Lyonchhen said that the front-liners are working round the clock; some have even stayed on duty for 95 days on stretch at the quarantine facilities.

Lyonchhen mentioned that the front-liners were facing some troubles during the import of laborers.

“When we questioned the front-liners they mentioned that every day from each room they were called seven to eight times for small issues. Though the front-liners wear the personnel protective equipment, the people staying inside the room they don’t wear the mask and they come in contact so closely. They don’t understand the quarantine protocols. How much ever they protect themselves they come in contact with the virus,” Lyonchhen said.

However, Lyonchhen said that as a SOP they have to ask questions to them on how they got in contact with the virus, but it is very difficult for them to ask questions since they have been serving as front-liners for four months.

Lyonchhen also urged not to blame the front-liners for the spreading virus.

“The day they get contact with the virus they are worried. I request you if you could consider that it is the government’s lapses. We can accept it because from the 200 countries around the world, there is no other countries who could battle COVID-19 like Bhutan. There are some lapses because the virus is not seen,” Lyonchhen added.

Lyonchhen said that now the SOP is revised and a quarantine facility has a maximum of five and minimum of three De-Suups in place.

“Again from the outside of the quarantine facility, one De-Suup and personnel will monitor the overall management,” Lyonchhen added.

Dechen Dolkar from Thimphu