With children still unvaccinated, we should not let our guard down: Minister

Tenzin Choden/ Bumthang With zero community cases yet with children unvaccinated, people should not let the guard down to follow precautionary measures against COVID-19, say Health Minister. The success of zero community transmission cases should not make encourage people to put down their guard against COVID-19. “I am happy that we hadn’t had community transmission for almost 30 days but we must remember we still have children not vaccinated and we are still not out of the hold of COVID-19 pandemic,” states the Health Minister, Lyonpo Dasho Dechen Wangmo. She also adds: “We can’t let our guard down, the success of zero community transmission is the collective effort of the Bhutanese people.” Vaccination is a major factor towards zero community transmission for about a month. “Vaccination has played a very important role in reducing transmission and also in terms of preventing hospitalization,” states Dasho Dechen Wangmo. She further added: “The zero community transmission for more than 30 days is attributed to timely vaccination and frontline workers are guarding the border, working at quarantine centres and the Bhutanese public following precautionary measures.” Ministry of Health wishes the Bhutanese people will sustain the momentum of zero community transmission as the nation as is other nations, it is in the grip of COVID-19 pandemic. As of September 18, 2021, there is only one active case in the country. Meanwhile, there were 2597 confirmed cases of COVID-19 – 1592 are male and 1005 are female; and 2593 individuals have recovered so far – 1590 are male and 1003 are female. The Ministry of Health tested 1,130,149 individuals – 768,266 on Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and 361,883 on Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT). With the Government's constant effort guided by His Majesty the King in securing the vaccines for all the eligible population in Bhutan, 198,900 doses of Pfizer vaccine arrived on September 07, 2021. It is fully funded by the Royal Government of Bhutan and the cost of the vaccine is USD 1.342 million (Nu. 101.377 million). The vaccines were used for the children of 12-17 years, and the rollout has begun.