Seven cases receiving oxygen therapy

The oldest person infected is 103 years old and around 500 of those infected are children

A total of seven people, who tested positive for Covid-19, are receiving oxygen therapy or oxygen support in the country as of now, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH).

It was divulged that out of the seven, four are elderly aged between 84 to 99 years old and all the seven patients are being continuously monitored.

Of the four, one from the Eastern Regional Referral Hospital (ERRH) in Mongar has been discharged, one is at the Central Regional Referral Hospital (CRRH) in Gelephu, and two at the Royal Institute for Governance and Strategic Studies (RIGSS) in Phuentsholing.

“They are all continuously monitored and now four of them are doing well,” health officials said, adding that a new case of a 103-year-old lady in Samtse with underlying medical conditions is also being monitored closely. 

According to the MoH, a 21-year-old with underlying medical conditions, who was managed at the RIGSS, is now referred to the JDWNRH in Thimphu for specialist’s care for underlying medical conditions. 

MoH’s Technical Advisory Group member, Dr. Tshokey said that two covid-19 positive patients are currently on oxygen therapy.

“A 60-year-old female with a medical condition from Samdrupcholing was referred to the ERRH,” he said.

Dr. Tshokey said that she is in Mongar isolation center on oxygen therapy.

“She is with known cases of hypertension and heart failure, and on treatment. She is at the table at the moment,” Dr. Tshokey said.  

Another 47-year-old male with a medical condition is at the RIGSS, Phuentsholing.

“As of now, seven of those infected required oxygen therapy, and they are doing well as of now,” he said.

Meanwhile, the country saw about 750 new cases of Covid-19 during the outbreak this week. The oldest person infected is 103 years old and around 500 of those infected were children.

“We have been able to manage this number of positive cases mainly due to the lockdown and other covid restrictions put in place. It would have been worse if those measures were not there,” Dr. Tshokey said.

He added that around 37% of the total population are children who are not vaccinated despite the vaccine being highly effective.

“It is a misconception to consider the Omicron variant less severe,” he said, adding that taking the variant lightly will be costly as the current variant in the country is highly infectious.

Dr. Tshokey shared that if more people get infected, the risk of spreading to the unvaccinated, elderly, and those with underlying diseases will be high. “The Omicron is more deadly, especially for this vulnerable group.”

He added that if people strictly follow all COVID-19 protocols, the outbreak can be completely contained within three weeks to a month, and within a maximum of three months.

Meanwhile, the health ministry is optimistic about flattening the curve.

Another member of NITAG said, “In 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, we will be able to fight this battle successfully.”

Further, the NITAG members also informed that the Covid patients are kept in isolation for a minimum of 10 days as per the current practice. The person is sent home if he/she tests negative. However, the duration of the isolation is extended if that person tests positive.

Kinley Yonten from Thimphu