Thimphu, 6th March: The Prime Minister of Bhutan, Lotay Tshering has confirmed that an elderly tourist from USA has positively infected with Corona Virus. This is country’s first confirmed case of COVID-19 that was confirmed at 11pm on March 5. The result was validated at 12.30 am today.
76-year-old tourist from the United States of America was reported positively infected on 5th Marth. He had entered the country from Paro International Airport, boarding DrukAir flight KB241 from Guwahati, India on March 2.
The patient was touring India from 21st February to 1st March, starting his travel from Washington DC on February 18. The patient was travelling with his partner, aged 59. There were 10 passengers on board, of which eight others were Indian nationals.
Initially at the Paro International Airport, the patient indicated “negative” against all conditions and had no sign of fever.
However, upon reaching Thimphu, he visited the medical OPD at JDWNRH, complaining of bloaty abdomen (dyspeptic symptoms) and nausea but didn’t had any flu symptoms.
While returning from Punakha to Thimphu, the tourist visited JDWNRH again. He was found to have fever, sore throat, cough and shortness of breath. He was kept under observation at the flu clinic (designated COVID-19 hospital) and samples were collected and sent to Royal Centre for Disease Control (RCDC). Upon confirmation, he was isolated in the COVID-19 hospital.
As per the National Preparedness and Response Plan, with the detection of first confirmed case of COVID-19, the country stepped into “Orange” zone. Isolation of confirmed cases, quarantine suspects, carrying out closure of schools, institutions and public gatherings in the affected localities. Closure of Schools and institutes were called in three Dzongkhags Thimphu, Paro and Punakha for two weeks with effect from March 6. The government has also imposed two weeks restriction on all incoming tourists with immediate effect.
People are advised to maintain good personal hygiene, avoid gatherings, comply with quarantine and other control measures. The Govt. Of Bhutan has released emergency contact numbers of the health officials to combat disease.
1. Dr Chencho Dorji 17296890
2. Mr Rixin Jamtsho, 17606984
3. Dr Kesang Dorji, 77232566
4. Dr Dorji Tshering, 17517821
5. Dr Phub Tshering, 17280808
6. Dr Tandin Zangpo, 17828860
7. Dr Ugyen Wangdi, 17733500
8. Dr Tshokey, 17589485
9. Dr Thinley Pelzang, 77391619
10. Dr Pelden Wangchuk, 17827843