P/ling gears up as new Omicron variant emerges

Phuentsholing has not recorded a single Covid-19 positive case from the community for almost four months now

In the wake of the emergence of the new Omicorn Covid variant, activities have already been pipelined by the Southern Covid-19 Task Force (SC19TF) to prevent the outbreak of this new variant in the border town of Phuentsholing.

The members of the SC19TF, IMT and health team from the Phuentsholing General Hospital (PGH) will carry out a mass sensitization and advocacy on Covid-19 safety protocols and the new variant for the public, frontliners and business community on December 8.

The SC19TF will also step up hospital safety measures for patients and staff, besides the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) and DeSuups monitoring Covid-19 safety measures by the public.  

The Regional Inspection Team will also inspect and assess containment centers, the Mini Dry Port (MDP), truck parking, POEs, industries and warehouses on Covid-19 safety measures using the new modality.

An official from the SC19TF said all frontliners such as police personnel, DeSuups and immigration officials will be sensitized on the new variant of Covid-19.

Meanwhile, the SC19TF on November 30 collected a total of 439 samples and all the samples tested negative. The last Covid-19 positive case in Phuentsholing was detected on August 12, 2021.

Meanwhile, it has been 115 days that Phuentsholing has not recorded a single Covid-19 positive case from the community.

 An official from the SC19TF attributed the zero positive case from the community to the new modality that was adopted to monitor the Covid-19 compliance where all the managers or heads of the containment centers, agencies and business centers were sensitized about the Covid-19 safety measures.

Further, the managers or heads were also made to sign an undertaking letter to ensure continuous monitoring on safety compliance at their respective agency or containment area.

As per the SC19TFโ€™s interventions, all the containment centers were provided with a safety checklist to monitor the Covid-19 safety compliance on a daily basis. The security surveillance and monitoring on Covid-19 safety compliance has been also enhanced through the deployment of additional DeSuups and RBP personnel.

The official said even the Covid-19 safety measures at the hospital were enhanced with additional DeSuups. The patients and attendants were also screened before entering the hospital and the attendants are tested every three days.

The official said to decongest the Hospital OPD, the Phuentsholing general hospital also established OPD services at Pasakha because of which the crowd at the hospital has been significantly reduced.

The SC19TF also conducted community sensitization and advocacy on the Covid-19 safety measures which ensured participation in prevention of the Covid-19 outbreak and to reach the unreachable population in Phuentsholing.

โ€œThe team were from the members of the SC19TF, IMT and Phuentsholing General Hospital which successfully carried out the Covid-19 safety protocols to about 5,300 individuals,โ€ the official said.

As per the SC19TF, the challenges were risk of protocol breach due to the porous borders and increased economic activities such as bolder exports and import of essential goods into the country.

Sonam Tashi from Phuentsholing