Four New COVID-19 Hospitals Established
March 10, 2022: The health ministry is gearing up for the new Covid-19 management strategy that the government is planning from April.
The ministry has established four Covid-19 hospitals to treat positive patients in the country so far. The Covid-19 hospitals are at national Covid-19 hospital in Thimphu at Taba, regional Covid-19 hospital in Mongar, regional Covid-19 hospital in Gelephu and Covid-19 hospital in Phuntsholing.
With the current surge in Covid-19 cases in the country, the ministry has been instructed to establish a 150- bedded Covid-19 hospital in the eastern region and to enhance the capacity of the existing Covid-19 centers at the earliest. Read more…
Almost 50 Percent of Children Aged five-11 Get First Dose
March 8, 2022: Almost 50 percent of the children have been vaccinated by the second day of the mass pediatric vaccination campaign for children between the ages of five-11 yesterday.
A total of 23,193 children in the country were vaccinated yesterday taking the total number of children vaccinated so far to 39,642 of the 83,226 children in this age group in the country.
Thimphu has a maximum number of children vaccinated yesterday with 3,872, followed by Sarpang with 2,112. Gasa has the lowest with only 39 according to the health ministry’s data.
A total of 16,449 children were vaccinated on the first day of the campaign. The second dose will be rolled out starting the first week of April according to the health ministry officials. Read more…
COVID-19 Claims Seveth Death in Bhutan
05 March 2022: With much regret, we share the news of one more death from COVID-19 today which takes the total COVID-19 deaths in the country to seven.
An unvaccinated 83 year-old-man with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and a probable stroke patient who had been bed ridden for more than one year has expired at the Isolation Facility at the Royal Institute of Governance and Strategic Studies.
The deceased tested positive for COVID-19 on 18th February 2022 and was due to complete his isolation. Unfortunately, he suffered from a cardiac arrest on the evening of 4th March 2022. (Source: Ministry of Health)
Thank You His Majesty
… His Majesty steers Bhutan out of danger as the world reels in Covid-19
Wangdue Phodrang was experiencing a massive wave of Covid-19 cases the country has not seen to date. An 84-year-old woman from Pangsho in Gasetshogom gewog is among the positive cases. But her spirits have never been higher.
As she moved into isolation, away from her family after a long time, she was greeted with a neatly wrapped parcel from His Majesty The King.
“She has never been better,” her 74-year-old husband, Dorji Dukpa, who checks on her every day, told Kuensel yesterday.
Elders like Dorji and his wife, who are considered vulnerable to Covid-19, receive a regular monthly supply of multivitamins from His Majesty The King.
“Both of us have been vaccinated and have no doubt that we’ll survive the pandemic. We owe it all to His Majesty for the care and attention to elders like us.” Read more…
Bhutan Records Sixth Death from COVID-19
February 20, 2022: With immense grief, the Ministry of Health would like to inform the Nation that a 47 year old male intubated COVID-19 positive patient passed away in RIGSS ICU isolation facility, Phuntsholing late last night. The deceased was an end stage renal disease (Kidney failure) patient on dialysis. From a total of 9,557 confirmed COVID-19 cases since 5th March 2020, this is the sixth death in the country. The Ministry would like to convey our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. (Source; Ministry of Health)
Bhutan Records Fifth Death from COVID-19
February 10, 2022: With much regret, we share the news of one more death from COVID-19 today.
A 44-year-old woman, who resided in Wangdigatshel village in Phuentsholing, Chukha was suffering from Carcinoma (cancer) of the gallbladder with liver metastasis under palliative care.
She had complained of appetite loss, disorientation, and bowel complications yesterday and was immediately evacuated to Phuentsholing hospital ER, for resuscitation and emergency medical intervention. Despite all the efforts, she could not be saved.
It is always with so much pain and devastation that we share updates of such nature. Yet, amid the raging pandemic that we are fighting together, we are duty-bound to inform the unpalatable fact. (Source: Ministry of Health)
Bhutan Records Fourth Death from COVID-19
28 January 2022: With immense grief, the Ministry of Health would like to inform the Nation that a 34 year old female COVID-19 positive patient passed away in Thimphu during the early hours this morning.
The deceased was a chronic kidney patient on dialysis referred from Phuntsholing. The patient succumbed to cardiac complications due to underlying chronic kidney disease probably exacerbated by active COVID-19 infection.
From a total of 4,225 confirmed COVID-19 cases since 5th March 2020, this is the fourth death in the country. The Ministry would like to convey our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. (Source: Ministry of Health)
January 16, 2022
We would like to announce a “24 hours blackout” in Thimphu, Wangduephodrang, Punakha, Paro, Gasa, Haa, Chukha, Trongsa, Bumthang, Dagana, Sarpang, Tsirang, Samtse and Zhemgang with immediate effect.
No movement of people and vehicles are allowed unless authorized for essential purposes. Emergency health-related travels, which include vehicles moving towards hospitals and health facilities, will be permitted. In gewogs in the above specified districts, individuals will be allowed to step out and attend to the important chores within the premises.
In addition to the detection of more positive COVID-19 cases in the quarantine facilities lately, the decision is arrived at after a suspected COVID-19 positive individual at Punatsangchhu project has possibly interacted, work-related, with residents beyond.
The samples are being verified and upon confirmation, the public will be notified immediately. We intend to take utmost caution and screen accordingly.
We will be carrying out the tests in all the above districts and further course of action will be determined following the results. Testing sites and cohorts who need to be tested will be notified by the local authorities.
Should you have any queries, please call 1010 HelpDesk.
(Source: Prime Minister’s Office)
90.2% of the Eligible Population Fully Vaccinated
July 27, 2021: As the Nationwide COVID-19 Second dose vaccination (20-26 July 2021) successfully ended yesterday, the Ministry of Health is pleased to share the details as attached. (Source: Ministry of Health, RGoB)
Tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan vaccinates 90% of its population, becoming a beacon of hope for a region struggling with Covid
July 28, 2021: (CNN) Bhutan has fully vaccinated 90% of its eligible adult population in a week with Covid-19 shots, a feat that has been described as a “success story” and a “beacon of hope” for other countries in the region, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said Tuesday.
The tiny South Asian kingdom of 770,00 people is nestled in high in the Himalayas between India and China, and its high altitude, remote mountain villages, nomadic herders and extreme weather posed unique challenges to health workers delivering the vaccines safely across the country. Read more…
Bhutan’s rapid Covid vaccine rollout hailed as an international success story
More than 85% of adults in the tiny Himalayan kingdom were given a second dose in just one week
July 27, 2021: (The Guardian) Bhutan has inoculated most of its eligible population with second doses of Covid-19 vaccinations in a week, in a speedy rollout hailed by Unicef as a “success story” for international donations.
More than 454,000 shots were administered over the past week in the remote Himalayan kingdom – more than 85% of the eligible adult population of about 530,000 – after a recent flood of foreign donations. Read more…
Bhutan’s Vaccination Program Scales New Heights
July 27, 2021: (The Diplomat) The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has fully vaccinated 90 percent of its eligible adult population within just seven days, its health ministry said Tuesday.
The tiny country, wedged between India and China and home to nearly 800,000 people, began giving out second doses on July 20 in a mass drive that has been hailed by UNICEF as “arguably the fastest vaccination campaign to be executed during a pandemic.” Read more…
Leaving No One Behind!
July 26, 2021: With the main objective to leave no one behind, the Pema Gatshel vaccination team reached Woongborang ORC (Vaccination post) after a 3-hour walk from Yuri zampa. They vaccinated a total of 30 individuals including one individual who got vaccinated through the Home-based vaccination service.
Dzongkhag: Pema Gatshel
(Source: Ministry of Health, RGoB)
Leaving No One Behind!
July 26, 2021: Gaytala chiwog under Dagala Gewog, Thimphu Dzongkhag is one of the remotest chiwogs in the country, and to go to Gaytala, one has to travel from Toktokha village under Chukha Dzongkhag. There is no access from the gewog center located at Chamgang. The chiwog is officially 3 days away from the Dagala gewog center. The people of this chiwog sustain their livelihood mainly through rearing yaks.
The vaccination team from Thimphu Dzongkhag visited this chiwog and vaccinated 13 eligible people (6 male, 7 female) on 24 July 2021 with the second dose COVID-19 vaccine. The people expressed their immense gratitude to His Majesty the King and the Royal Government of Bhutan for making the vaccination available for them despite the hardship in reaching them, especially during the monsoon.
Source: Ministry of Health, RGoB
Home-based vaccination in Phobjikha
July 25, 2021: Home-based vaccination is being carried out for those individuals with mobility issues (bedridden/cannot walk).
People with mobility issues are identified from the Bhutan Vaccine System wherein Pre-vaccination screening is done over the phone prior to the home visit. Then the advanced timing of the vaccination is communicated to the clients, followed by which vaccination services are facilitated.
In the picture: Vaccination team in Phobjikha
Source: Ministry of Health
Vaccination for children aged 12-17 years in Phuntsholing and Samtse.
July 23, 2021: With relatively higher risk in Samtse and Phuntsholing, the Ministry started vaccinating children aged 12-17 years in these high-risk areas. More than 800 children were vaccinated in Phuntsholing and more than 700 children in Samtse as of today. The vaccination program for children aged 12-17 years in the rest of the districts will be announced at a later date. (Source: Ministry of Health, RGoB)
First Day Update on Rollout of Nationwide Second Dose of Vaccination
With the successful rollout of Nationwide first dose vaccination, Bhutan records the highest vaccination rate at 64.2% as of today among the 11 Southeast Asian countries. Hence, we started the Nationwide second dose vaccination campaign with much excitement that we will fulfill Our Gyenkhu of protecting ourselves and our Nation. Furthermore, to ensure the smooth rollout of the nationwide second dose vaccination campaign starting from 20-26 July 2021, the Hon’ble Health Minister Dasho Dechen Wangmo visited the vaccination sites in Thimphu and assessed the whole vaccination process.
The Ministry requests the general public to come forward for your COVID-19 second dose vaccination.
Together We Can!
Source: Ministry of Health, RGoB
Prime Minister Receives Second Dose COVID-19 Vaccination
July 17, 2021: Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering received his second dose of COVID-19 vaccination today, leading a team of volunteers as the nation gears for the significant milestone of the nationwide rollout on July 20.
It took place following a pre-screening by health officials, in the backdrop of the monumental National Memorial Choeten.
Since Moderna vaccine is being used for the first time in the country, prime minister and volunteers took the vaccine before the nationwide rollout by way of sharing experience. The prime minister will remain in observation for 30 minutes after which he will make a statement to the nation. (Source: PMO)
Denmark gives 250,000 AstraZeneca doses
July 1, 2021: Bhutan will receive around 250,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from Denmark at the earliest possible, according to a press release from the Danish foreign ministry today.
“The government has also decided to donate approx. 250,000 doses of the vaccine from AstraZeneca to Bhutan, which urgently lacks doses for the implementation of other plugs for a large part of the population,” the press release stated.
The Danish authorities are working to get the vaccine doses delivered to Bhutan as soon as possible, according to the release. Read more…
Loan deferment extended by one more year
July 1, 2021: The government has decided to extend the loan deferment scheme by one more year until June 2022.
A press release from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) stated that considering the continued impact and uncertainties posed by the pandemic, all loans sanctioned as of June 30, 2020 would be eligible for the deferment.
However, the financial service providers (FSPs) could also negotiate with the borrowers for the revival/rehabilitation or foreclosure of non-performing loans (NPL). Read more…
Bhutan Foundation donates medical equipment to health ministry
June 29, 2021: Today, Her Majesty Gyalyum Ashi Tseyring Pem Wangchuck, the Co-Chair of the Bhutan Foundation, handed over health equipment, medical transport vehicles, and PPE worth Nu. 19.55 million to the Ministry of Health.
The donation includes an autoclave machine, 110 oxygen cylinders, a bio-decontamination machine, two medical trucks, and 17,368 N95 masks for medical use. The Foundation hopes this support will strengthen Bhutan’s healthcare system in response to an increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
This support is part of the $1 million in assistance USAID provided to the Bhutan Foundation to strengthen Bhutan’s healthcare capacity for pandemic prevention, readiness, and response, and support microenterprises. The activity is helping Bhutan increase its diagnostic laboratory capabilities and clinical case management, providing virtual training for health care providers and lab personnel, and developing communications materials on COVID-19.
Status of Mass COVID-19 Vaccination Rollout in Bhutan
Individuals vaccinated in Bhutan as of April 18, 2021
Data as of April 18, 2021 (Ministry of Health)
(Source: Ministry of Health, Royal Government of Bhutan)
Lockdown for Thromdes and Satellite Towns in Southern Border Dzongkhags
April 16, 2021: All the thromdes and satellite towns in the southern border dzongkhags will be under lockdown for further epidemiological assessment with immediate effect. No movement of individuals and vehicles will be allowed in those areas.
The National COVID-19 Taskforce arrived at the decision in an emergency meeting conducted after two positive cases of COVID-19 were detected in the community in Phuentsholing today. However, all emergency and essential services will be facilitated. Read more…
People registered through COVID-19 Vaccination Registration Portal
Data as of March 26, 2021
(Source: Ministry of Health, Royal Government of Bhutan)
Date of COVID-19 vaccine roll out in Bhutan
Source: Prime Minister’s Office
Process for COVID-19 Vaccination
Overview of Registered and Projected Population for COVID-19 Vaccination
Bhutan Receives COVID-19 Vaccine
Hon’ble Sowai Lyonpo Dasho Dechen Wangmo received 400,000 doses of Covishield vaccine which was officially handed over by Her Excellency the Indian Ambasador Ruchira Kamboj on behalf of the Government of India at the Paro international airport.
Bhutan is one of the first countries to receive the Covidshield vaccines from the Government of India as a gift marking an affirmation of goodwill and friendship between the two countries.
Bhutan acknowledges the Government of India for making the nationwide vaccination a reality for Bhutan.
Source: Ministry of Health
Vaccine Distribution Plan
I. Eastern region (24th March, 2021): Drukair Domestic Flight to Yonphula Airport (24th March, 2021)
Two Refrigerated Van from Eastern regional EPI cold store will pick up from the Yonphula Airport and distribute to Tashigang & T/Yangtse and Mongar & Lhuntse
One back up Refrigerated Van (New) will be stationed in Thimphu for eastern regional distribution in case there is any change on the domestic flight schedule or inconvenient weather conditions
II. Central Region (24th March, 2021)
Refrigerated Van from Central EPI store at Gelephu will pick up and distribute to Tsirang, Dagana & Sarpang
A refrigerated Van at Thimphu will be deputed to distribute to Bumthang, Trongsa and Zhemgang.
III. Western region (23rd – 24th March 2021)
Another Van will be deputed with Trans-shipment at Sorchen (P/Ling Van will take over) : Chukha, Phuentsholing & Samtse
A dedicated Van will distribute to Paro and Haa on the first day and then distribute to Punakha, Wangdue & Gasa the next day
Detail of Helicopter Services required for the COVID-19 Vaccine distribution
(23rd – 24th March 2021)
Samdrup Jongkhar town and Pemagatshel town
Lingzhi village (Lingzhi BHU) and Jangothang village (Soe BHU), Thimphu
Lhedhi village (Lunana BHU), Laya BHU, Isuna
Source: Ministry of Health
COVID-19 Vaccine Update
The COVID-19 vaccination will be rolled out in the country starting March 27, 2021. The auspicious date is determined in consultation with the Zhung Dratshang. The second consignment of a vaccine comprising 400,000 doses will arrive from India on March 22. Three days Sangay Menlha (Medicine Buddha) Drupchen will be conducted before the nationwide rollout.
–Prime Minister informs the nation
March 17, 2021
Bhutan’s COVID-19 Journey
March 6, 2021
Reflecting on a year with COVID-19, this is how far we have come.
There were highs and lows and there was unprecedented solidarity too exuded by fellow Bhutanese.
However this is not the end, we are all in this together with greater level of trust, collaboration and unity.
Source: Ministry of Health
Health Ministry Launches COVID-19 Vaccination Registration Portal
February 21, 2021
The Ministry of Health has launched an official COVID-19 vaccination registration portal.
A King to tourist’s rescue
February 21, 2021
At 76, Bert Hewitt was unlike many of his age. Outgoing and adventurous, often when not at work, he goes climbing the rugged mountainside, hiking through deep jungles in the Himalayas.
In March last year, Bert Hewitt and his partner, Sandi Fischer, came to see Bhutan, a trip he would not forget for the rest of his life.
Following a river cruise along the Brahmaputra River in India, Hewitt and Sandi arrived in Paro on March 2, 2020. However, Hewitt wasn’t in his best health after he began to feel ill in India.
He had lost his appetite, almost completely, he said. On the night of his arrival in the country, his guide and driver took him to the national referral hospital. “We thought it was just a stomach bug picked up while travelling in India.”
The doctors gave him some antacid tablets and he returned to his hotel. “The following day, I felt somewhat better so we left for Punakha to witness the festival there. I still remember the festival, everyone was in their traditional costume,” he said. Read more…
Enhanced Surveillance – Post Lockdown
February 18, 2021: In order to detect any person(s) with COVID-19 on time and to prevent further transmissions and outbreaks, a Strategy called Enhanced Surveillance is being implemented in both high and low-risk districts.
Active surveillance includes testing of all frontline workers identified by the respective dzongkhag/taskforce every two weeks. The front liners and those population who are at higher risk of contracting the virus at the Point of Entries (Airport and ground crossings), Mini Dry Ports and depots, private warehouses, border patrolling duty, factories and industries, health facilities, in-patients and attendants, out-patients undergoing invasive procedures, COVID-19 task forces, schools & institutions, vendors at the vegetable markets and randomly selected customers, mega projects, monastic institutions located in urban and near the periphery of urban areas, bus drivers (both within the city and inter-district), the mobile population at Chuzom and Menchuna check posts are all being tested. Read more…
Business as usual in Thimphu from Monday
January 30, 2021: Schools, institutions and businesses to operate within the existing Covid-19 norms
After 43 days of lockdown following a local outbreak of Covid-19, life in Thimphu will return to ‘normal’ starting February 1.
This means that people can return to work and institutions and businesses can open as usual. Residents will, however, have to follow existing Covid-19 norms.
Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering announced the final phase of unlocking for Thimphu yesterday after all the four megazones in the capital cleared their Covid-19 test. Read more…
January 29, 2021
Press release from PMO
In what is the convergence of His Majesty’s blessings, prayers of our religious bodies, hard work of the frontline workers and support of every Bhutanese, the nation saw a successful lockdown.
Today, after more than 40 days, and over 280,000 tests of COVID-19 carried out nationwide, we are confident that the disease is under control, and limited only to the facilities.
The initial confirmation of the case at the flu clinic in Thimphu on December 20, 2020, which led to the lockdown, triggered fear that the disease would have spread throughout the country, hurling endless issues upon us. Read more…
Paro transitions to green zone
January 26, 2021: After more than a month’s lockdown, six gewogs and Paro Throm will be declared green zone from today.
Naja, Dogar, Doteng and Tsento gewogs were declared green zone from January 17.
With no community cases in 21 days, the dzongkhag task force decided to unlock the zones with certain restrictions. Read more…
Bhutan receives 150,000 doses of Covishield vaccine from India
January 20, 2021
An AN32 glided its way into the Paro valley around 3.25 pm today, ferrying Bhutan’s first consignment of COVID-19 vaccine.
The aircraft of the Indian Air Force delivered 150,000 doses of Covishield vaccines from India, making Bhutan the first country to receive the gift, just four days after India’s own massive roll-out of the vaccine. Read more…
Covid-19 claims first victim in Bhutan
January 7, 2021
UPDATE: The 34-year-old man who died today is the first death case of Covid-19 in the country, Health Minister Dechen Wangmo just confirmed.
The Technical Advisory Group (TAG) of the health ministry discussed the issue late into the evening. The deceased who suffered from chronic liver disease and renal failure was detected with Covid-19 on December 21 when he was admitted to JDWNRH for the treatment of severe hepatitis.
He was managed at the Covid-19 ward at the JDWNRH campus. Laboratory examination showed that his liver function test was grossly deranged and he was diagnosed with severe acute hepatitis. He received hemodialysis for acute kidney failure. According to the treating physician, the prognosis of such cases with hepato-renal failure is grave.
December 22, 2020
A nationwide lockdown will be enforced for seven days, starting tomorrow (December 23, 2020).In continuation to the inter-district movement restriction imposed this morning, the National COVID-19 Taskforce decided the need for a more stringent action after detection of sporadic cases in flu clinics in Thimphu and Paro, and also in Lhamoizingkha, which is evident of local transmission.
The lockdown across the nation will enable government to control the spread of the disease and also discern the extent of transmission in the communities. Read more…
December 22, 2020
We would like to inform all that additional COVID-19 cases have surfaced since last night. We have recorded five from Thimphu flu clinic, three from Paro flu clinic, one more in Lhamoizingkha and one at a quarantine facility in Phuentsholing.In order to prevent spread and assess situations, we will stop all inter-district travel of both vehicles and people with immediate effect. Essential movements and exit of export materials will be facilitated with close monitoring by Royal Bhutan Police.
Meanwhile, the National Taskforce is assessing the need for lockdown in Paro. We request everyone to refrain from coming out of homes, unless really necessary. We will keep you informed!
Source: PMO, Bhutan
December 20, 2020
This is to inform the public that Thimphu Thromde will be under lockdown with immediate effect. All are requested to stay home. All offices, institutions and business entities shall remain closed until further notice.While all outbound travellers will be stopped, only emergencies and essential incoming movements into Thimphu will be considered.
A 25-year-old female, who visited the flu clinic at JDWNRH with symptoms, tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday. It was reconfirmed early today.The Health Ministry is conducting intensive contact tracing. The lockdown of the Thimphu Thromde will enable health officials to trace and test all possible contacts.
A primary contact had also traveled to Trongsa with multiple stops on the way. While all contacts have been identified, we urge people in Hongtsho, Thinleygang, Wangduephodrang, Phobjokha, Pelela and Trongsa to stay vigilant and refrain from moving out of their homes.
Depending on the degree of transmission, relaxations will be initiated over the coming days. We will keep you informed of critical developments. Please maintain public health protocols and stay indoors.
Source: PMO, Bhutan
September 17, 2020
BHUTAN FOUNDATION DONATES 200,000 NON-MEDICAL FACE MASKS TO BHUTAN
September 17, 2020, Thimphu: The Bhutan Foundation handed over 200,000 non-medical face masks to the Ministry of Health, Royal Government of Bhutan for distribution to vulnerable communities, including the elderly population and pregnant women, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The donation is part of the ongoing “Bhutan Emergency COVID-19 Response and Health System Preparedness” activity supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), a U.S. Government agency, which leads international development and humanitarian efforts in over 100 countries to save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance and help people progress beyond assistance. Read more…
September 16, 2020
A total of 3710 individuals were randomly tested throughout the country starting 8th September 2020, out of which 2112 were from the Royal Bhutan Army (RBA), 1097 from the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP), and 384 are from Royal Body Guards (RBG).
From these round of tests, 2 police personnel tested positive from Gelephu which was announced earlier on 12th September 2020.
Ministry of Health also takes a moment to thank all the RBP, RBA and RBG officials for thier unwavering service to the nation and in safeguaring the health of the public.
September 15, 2020
Community Transmission Mitigation Strategy
In order to prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19 and to minimize social and economic disruption, the four key interventions namely; Testing, Tracing, Treating and behavioural change is being implemented.
While testing, tracing and treating is being carried out by the Government, behavioural change is soley the responsibility of each one of us. As we know that the virus is here to stay and we should learn to live with it by adapting the new normal in our daily lives, we should ultimately know that ‘behaviourial change’ is our Gyenkhu to have a better and healthier environment to live in.
September 12, 2020
His Majesty The King’s Address to the People of Bhutan
Translation of His Majesty The King’s Address to the People of Bhutan
Last month, the threat of the pandemic became very real for Bhutan when the first COVID-19 cases were detected outside the quarantine facilities. It was extremely worrying to find several positive cases, in more than one place. Those who contracted the virus and their loved ones have suffered a great deal of anxiety.
A nationwide lockdown was introduced with immediate effect to contain the virus. The entire population had to stay home for weeks, stopping work, losing income, and running out of food and essentials. Yet, our people fully understood the magnitude of the threat we face, and willingly endured the discomfort and hardship, extending their wholehearted support to the government. I thank our people for being concerned about the collective good and showing exceptional forbearance and resilience. Read full address…
September 12, 2020
We now have 5 COVID-19 labs in Bhutan including the recently established in Dewathang Hospital, Samdrup Jongkhar.As of date, we have tested 53,806 people by RT-PCR (Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction) test and 59,543 by RDT (Rapid Diagnostic Test) Kits in these 5 COVID-19 labs.Adjusting by test per million we have done 146,852 tests and with this rate of testing, we stand 45th in the world.
September 11, 2020
COVID-19 lab at Dewathang Hospital is established and functional starting today.
A total of 5 COVID-19 Testing center are established across the country as of date:1. RCDC, Thimphu2. Phuentsholing Hospital3. ERRH, Mongar4. CRRH, Gelephu5. Dewathang Hospital, Samdrupjonkhar
September 8, 2020
2886 people were tested as a part of the second round of active community surveillance in the Yellow Zone, Phuntsholing on 5th and 6th September 2020 and all results came out negative.
September 4, 2020
Total positive cases since the lockdown
A total of 111 positive cases were detected from 11 August 2020 to 1 September 2020 which is approximately 49% of the total number of cases detected in Bhutan.
(The details are attached in the infographic)
September 4, 2020
Testing conducted since the lockdown
~ 4039 people tested while screening the DANTAK/IMTRAT cluster from 15th to 31st August, 2020
~ 31486 people tested in Paro, Phuntsholing, and Haa during the active community surveillance
~ 7484 travelers who traveled form Phuntsholing from 1st August 2020 onward were tested.
September 4, 2020
Data depicting people repatriated since March 2020 till 28th August 2020.More than 12000 Bhutanese were brought back home from different countries in the repatriation flights organized by the government.
August 31, 2020
Initiating the unlocking process
Bhutan witnessed the first of a kind lockdown to combat spread of coronavirus in the country on August 11. Today, 21 days on, we are confident to state that our lockdown measures have been successful. And this underscores the very essence of being Bhutanese.
The government would like to thank each and every individual for staying home, and more so for keeping your problems and frustrations locked in with yourself. We are aware of your sacrifices.
Inconvenience on one hand, the 21-day lockdown has accelerated the downturn of already ailing economy. We are aware that you have lost your income, compromised your businesses and livelihood. Read more…
August 31, 2020
Her Excellency Minister of Health thanks everyone for exhibiting a tremendous level of unity and patience during this unprecedented time.
We must continue to do the same till we overcome the pandemic and emerge victorious.
Together we can!
August 24, 2020
Ushering in the third week of lockdown, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering, in his message expresses gratitude to the people of Bhutan for the support and solidarity so far, and articulates the way forward.
August 18, 2020So far 913 people have been contact traced in connection to the COVID-19 positive case from Phuntsholing (25-year-old man from the dry port).24 have tested positive, 474 tested negative and the remaining are being tested.
August 11, 2020
Government announces nationwide lockdown
The government announces nationwide lockdown starting today, following report of a COVID-19 positive case in Gelephu, who came in close contact with people in Thimphu, Gelephu, Paro and those along the way.
The government enforces restrictions on movement of people and vehicles within the Dzongkhags and beyond. Everyone is asked to stay home to protect themselves and their families from the disease, should there be undetected, rampant transmissions.
All schools, institutions, offices and commercial establishments will remain closed. Ongoing exams will be postponed, while the students and trainees in boarding facilities should continue to remain on campus and follow COVID-19 protocols. Read more…
August 11, 2020
August 11, 2020
Following report of a COVID-19 positive case in Gelephu, who has come in close contact with people in Thimphu, Gelephu and those along the way, the government announces national lockdown starting today.
No movement of people and vehicles within or beyond Dzongkhags will be allowed unless authorised.
Prime Minister will come on BBS live at 7AM to share the details.
The government will share all information with the public as and when it becomes available. Please follow the updates and instructions closely.
July 3, 2020
Rapid Antigen testing is starting this week along bordering areas, high-risk population, and emergency cases. This test takes 30 minutes to give test results and is more specific in comparison to Rapid Antibody tests. Starting this week, we have also established a COVID-19 testing center in Gelephu. Antigen and Antibody tests will be performed in all the Dzongkhag while the PCR test will be performed only at the designated 4 COVID-19 testing centers.
– Health Minister
July 2, 2020: QUARANTINE AT A GLANCE
Over a period of four months
A total of 8732 people have been quarantined as of 28th June 2020, of which 8324 were repatriated and rest are either primary contacts of the positive cases, frontline workers or the quarantine protocol violators.
Going by gender a total of 4696 male and 4036 female were quarantined.
35 infants under the age of 2 were quarantined during this period, 333 were between the age of 2 to 17, 7006 were between the age 18 to 34, 1252 were between the age of 35 to 60 and 106 were elderly population above the age of 60.
The highest number of people who were quarantined are students (3649) through repatriation.
India, Kuwait and UAE brought in the highest number of people inside Bhutan.
– Ministry of Health
BHUTAN FOUNDATION CONTRIBUTES NU. 12 MILLION TO HIS MAJESTY’S KIDU FUND FOR COVID-19
June 24, 2020 – Thimphu, Bhutan: The Bhutan Foundation, upon the command of its co-chair, Her Majesty Gyalyum Tseyring Pem Wangchuck, offered a contribution of Twelve Million Ngultrum to His Majesty’s Kidu Fund for COVID-19 through the Office of the Gyalpoi Zimpon. This contribution to the COVID-19 fund is a gesture of gratitude and deep respect for the tireless efforts of His Majesty the Druk Gyalpo for the welfare of the Bhutanese people in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Read more…
May 14, 2020
20th COVID-19 case of Bhutan.
Of the 99 samples tested today, 1 more tested positive, making it the 20th COVID-19 case of Bhutan.
The person who tested positive is a 30 year old male who recently returned from the Middle East and is in a quarantine facility in Thimphu. He is yet to be moved to the isolation facility.
271 people completed their 21 days quarantine today after testing COVID-19 negative.
Source: Ministry of Health, RGoB
April 30, 2020
Press Release from The Druk Gyalpo’s Relief Kidu
The Druk Gyalpo’s Relief Kidu has granted Nu. 150 million as the first disbursement of the Relief Kidu to 13,006 people. The Relief Kidu will be at Nu. 12,000 per person per month for recipients of the full amount of the Kidu and Nu. 8,000 per month for recipients of the partial amount of the Kidu. Additional support of Nu. 800 per child per month will be granted to eligible beneficiaries with children. The Kidu will be provided for three months – April, May and June 2020. Read more…
April 28, 2020:
The first Bhutanese and the 3rd COVID-19 case in the country is being declared recovered after completing the 2 weeks de-isolation period. The individual tested negative upon completing the 2 weeks de-isolation period.
Therefore, five of seven have now recovered.
Source: Ministry of Health, Royal Government of Bhutan.
Legendary Artists Keola Beamer and Jigme Drukpa Spread Aloha from the Himalayas to Hawai`i in a Free Online Concert and Q&A
Washington, DC, April 8, 2020: On Friday, April 17, enter the worlds of award-winning artists Keola Beamer and Jigme Drukpa as they bring together the sounds of the Himalayas and Hawai`i in a free livestream concert and interactive Q&A session. Read more…
Full post from His Majesty’s Facebook page update:
18 April 2020:
His Majesty The King arrived in Thimphu after a weeklong visit to Samtse and Phuentsholing to review security and preparatory measures to combat COVID-19.
In Phuentsholing, His Majesty visited Amochu Land Development and Township Project area, to inspect progress of the work on construction of shelters for the Bhutanese evacuated from Jaigoan before the closure of the border. 1,300 RBA personnel together with around 180 volunteers from Technical Training Institutes have been working to compete the structures by the end of this month. Over a thousand households, living in school and college campuses in Phuentsholing at present, will be accommodated in these houses.
His Majesty also granted Audiences to the COVID-19 Task Force members in Phuentsholing, Gomtu, and Samtse.
In Samtse, His Majesty visited settlements along the border, where there is risk of cross-border transmissions. The borders are being patrolled by the RBA and RBP, together with DeSuups and volunteers from the nearby villages.
His Majesty also granted separate Audiences to the DeSuups being trained in Samtse, Tendruk and Tashichoeling.
An accelerated DeSuung training programme to train about 2,500 teachers, in-service graduates, unemployed youth, and other volunteers simultaneously in 7 different locations is currently underway. The 3-week programme, which started on the 6th of April, has special focus on public health and security, to prepare the trainees to support health workers in our efforts against COVID-19 if necessary.
All the volunteers and trainers were tested for COVID-19 at the start of the program to rule out the possibility of a community spread.
Training for another batch of 2,520 DeSuups will start from 4th of May.
April 10th, 2020: His Majesty’s Address to the Nation
The world is faced with an unprecedented challenge due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. The risks unleashed by this pandemic are escalating by the day.
Realising that Bhutan will not be an exception to the adverse effects of this global pandemic, we have planned and implemented various strategies to cope with the threat in a timely and effective manner. Read full translation…
The second Bhutanese to test positive for Covid-19 shares her views with Kuensel in this letter written from the isolation ward of the national referral hospital. Read more…
The room’s well furnished, spick-and-span. A queen-size bed in the centre, there is also a table by the side with a water boiler, tea bags, instant coffee packets and sugar arranged neatly by expert hands. This is my room at Tsherim Resort in Paro. Read more…
The second Covid-19 patient, Sandi Fischer shares her experience
Like most tourists, Sandi Fischer and her partner, Bert Hewitt planned a trip to Bhutan to explore the country’s unique culture and tradition.
On the list of places to visit, the Americans had Thimphu, Paro and Punakha. “Bert and I really enjoy hiking so part of our decision was related to that, as well as hearing wonderful things about the people and culture of Bhutan.”
However, their plan began to fall apart as they arrived in the country on March 2. Bert Hewitt,76, started feeling ill soon after their plane landed at the Paro international airport. Read more…
Early detection and containment approach, which Bhutan has adopted to fight against Covid-19, has worked well for the country.
While the three Bhutanese who have tested positive to the virus were already placed in designated quarantine facilities upon their arrival in the country, the first two patients have recovered. Read more…
Media coverage on e-book launch:
- Kuensel: Free Dzongkha and English primary e-books launched
- BBS: Bhutan Foundation releases e-books for children
March 30, 2020
Letter from the Prime Minister of Bhutan to those in quarantine
My dear friends in quarantine,
Today, the government decided to extend the quarantine period from initial 14 to 21 days. The decision was arrived at purely to align with the COVID-19 response modes we are adopting by the day.
The country is embracing highest preventive approach and as our surveillance picks up more cases from the quarantine facilities, this is one of the ways to minimise possibilities of missing out. Read full letter…
Press Release from Prime Minister’s Office
March 27, 2020
As we strive to stay ahead of the spread of coronavirus, with His Majesty’s guidance, the government has introduced highest level of preventive measures all along. This includes recent closure of all border gates early this week.
Reinforced by an efficient containment system, the government is making efforts to come out of the pandemic with slightest of burden on the people of Bhutan. Read full press release…
HIS MAJESTY ADDRESSES THE NATION ON COVID-19
Starting today, our land borders will be sealed.
We are compelled to take this drastic measure in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. As you have been made aware through various government bulletins, the virus is spreading, causing immense disruption worldwide, and drawing closer to us each day. Read full translation…
As the situation around COVID-19 develops around the world, we’re seeing story after story of growing challenges and the heroic people in our health sectors who are rising to meet those challenges. We at the Bhutan Foundation wanted to take a moment to recognize the speed, compassion, and consideration that His Majesty the King and Bhutan’s leaders in the government, including the Prime Minister and the Health Minister, took to address the public when the virus made its way across the border this March and to offer our own ways to stay engaged during this uncertain time.
- American tourist’s partner tests positive after fourth test
- Read the thank-you letter from patient’s daughter to Bhutan
- First phase of economic stimulus plan for the hardest hit: PM
- All travellers entering Bhutan will be quarantined
- COVID-19: Bhutanese returning home from abroad poses bigger threat: PM
- “The patient and our team became like a family”
- Bhutan’s only COVID-19 patient flies home
- First confirmed Coronavirus case in Bhutan