From case surveillance to viral surveillance: PM

The PM says the government will let the public know if there are any concerns or risky variants

In its fight against the Covid-19, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said that the country has geared towards viral surveillance, which means to detect new variants, unlike the case surveillance which focused on positive cases, primary contact, secondary contact, and isolation, among others.

During the Meet-The-Press session on Friday 6th May, Lyonchhen said, “So far it is only the Omicron BA 1 or BA 2.”

The PM said the government will let the public know if there are any concerns or risky variants. 

On the decreasing cases of Covid-19 in the country, the PM said that the vaccination played a vital role, where the immune system has built better for many, while the other could be less severe.

“The Omicron is very infectious where it can’t be stopped, but moreover it goes away with mild symptoms. The risk for now is to prevent death where more vulnerable people are at risk, which can be protected from preventable causes,” PM said.

For now, Lyonchhen informed that the government is focusing on taking care of the symptomatic patients, where all those covid hospitals were set up everywhere across the country.

“What if thousands of symptomatic cases arise?  But we didn’t have to face this situation because of our elimination strategy and lockdowns,” Lyonchhen added.

Many not needing tests and more over with the very strong herd immunity in the community were reasons for having decreased positive cases, according to the PM.

“Still people whose symptoms get worse are requested to come forward for the test and full vaccination,” Lyonchhen said.  

Lyonchhen added that the decreasing positive rate is a welcoming note and that even the hospital utilisation rate is less than 0.05%, meaning only one patient is there for a capacity designed for 100 patients.

On administering the fifth dose of the Covid-19 vaccines and further vaccination, PM said they will wait for the trends to evolve, where it could be maybe on an annual basis or six-month basis, as per the research and the standards set by the international experts. 

Sherab Dorji from Thimphu