WE CARE, WE SHARE – UN and JICA Bhutan joint initiative
“Although this deadly pandemic is spreading like wild fire throughout the world and many human lives have been lost, I never thought that I would be a victim of COVID-19,” began Gomchen Tenzin.
Gomchen is the Principal of Khangkhu Middle Secondary School in Paro. It came as a surprise to him when he tested positive for COVID-19 given he had strictly followed prevention protocols and also guided others in maintaining them as a Principal, Desuup and moreover as a responsible citizen.
“To my utmost horror, I was not spared by the corona virus. I tested positive for COVID-19 when I got a check up on 21st December 2020 at the flu clinic set up at Thsongdue Moenlam Chhenmo ground in Paro,” said Gomchen.
At around 5:30 AM on 22nd December, he received a call from the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Paro District Hospital inquiring about his travel history and the people he had had contact with in the past few days. By 6:35 AM that day, health officials were already at his doorstep to confirm the results of his test and to move him to isolation at Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital in Thimphu.
“I couldn’t believe it as I was not seriously ill and it took some time for me to accept the reality of the moment. However, the officials advised me to stay calm and reassured me that I can recover soon from it,” mentioned Gomchen.
An ambulance from the Paro District Hospital picked him up and shifted him to an isolation center in Thimphu.
“One evening in isolation, to my surprise, I received a package with a gift tag that read ‘Get Well Soon’ from His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen. It contained a soft blanket, T-shirts printed with His Majesty’s Kupar, a locket imprinted with Guru Rimpoche’s image, vitamins and cookies. Deeply touched by it, I offered my deepest gratitude to Their Majesties for their unconditional love, care and concerns. That night, I slept with so much comfort and reassurance of my health,” shared Gomchen.
Additionally, with words of support and encouragement from family members, his colleagues, friends and students, Gomchen was able to successfully overcome the psychological stress as well as the physical illness from the infection. He stressed that,
“More than anything, I felt that the comfort and the services in the isolation center was very important. The effects of the virus on my physical health was minimal compared to the effects on my psychological and mental health. However, I was able to stay strong both physically and mentally due to the comfort, good food and nutrition along with the appropriate medication and psychological support provided at the isolation center.”
Gomchen also shared his gratitude towards the health personnel and front liners (Desuups and Police) for the services at the center. He sincerely applauded their sacrifices in setting aside their own family’s welfare and dedicating their services to frontline work to attend the urgent call of the nation during the pandemic.
Lastly, Gomchen reiterated His Majesty’s words that ‘a small carelessness and ignorance of a single person at this hour of the pandemic would place everyone at a great risk’.
“This historic incident has given me lot of realization particularly since being a victim of it. We can never be complacent with the mentality that it is happening elsewhere in the world and it may not happen to us. We never know who could be infected next. We need to be very cautious and always remain upright with our thoughts and actions, and follow all preventative protocols strictly,” concluded Gomchen.
21 𝐧𝐞𝐰 𝐜𝐚𝐬𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝟐𝟒 𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬 18 contact and 3 imported
15 new cases detected in the last 24 hours
Subsequent to the detection of 3 additional positive cases from Norbugang Gewog on 1st June 2021, the DC19TF would like to notify the general public of the following.
12 𝐧𝐞𝐰 𝐜𝐚𝐬𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝟐𝟒 𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬
In her closing remarks, Lyonpo outlined the need to enhance access to diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines for COVID-19, and to build the capacity of healthcare workers around the world.