Bhutan confirms first case of coronavirus

Thimphu: Bhutan on Friday confirmed the first case of coronavirus in the country.

The patient is a 76-year-old from the United States who have a travel history to India. He had come to Bhutan on March 2 from Guwahati, Prime Minister Lotay Tshering office confirmed in a statement.

The patient has been isolated in the COVID-19 hospital. He is kept on oxygen support considering his age and underlying conditions.

The patient was traveling with his partner, aged 59 along with 10 passengers on board, of which eight others were Indian nationals.

The close contacts were his partner, the driver and the guide. While all three are asymptomatic for now, they have been quarantined at the designated COVID-19 hospital.

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The eight Indian passengers have also been quarantined. The government is closely working with the Indian Embassy.

Over 90 contacts have been traced so far. Health officials and other relevant agencies are in the process of carrying out primary disease management and contact tracing.

Contact tracings were launched as per the patient’s itinerary. It included people he associated with at all the points and stops along the way, starting from Paro airport to Thimphu, to Punakha and back. It included tea stops at Druk Wangyal Cafe, and lunch at Punakha High School park.

Health ministry has asked the four crew members of the particular flight, and the hotel staff at both Le Meridien and Densa Boutique Resort to “home quarantine”. Which means they should stay home and maintain distance from people, including family members. Until all suspicions are ruled out, health officials will closely monitor and provide all services at respective homes.

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