New DGPC building in Pling’to be converted into isolation hospital

Progress of converting new DGPC office building into Covid-19 hospital

His Majesty the King commanded converting Phuentsholing new DGPC building into the Covid-19 isolation hospital to prepare for the worst-case scenario

Lhakpa Tshering

Upon the Royal Command of His Majesty the King, the newly constructed Druk Green Power Corporation Limited (DGPC) office building in Phuentsholing is undergoing conversion into a Covid-19 isolation hospital during the pandemic should anything go wrong in the country.

The Ministry of Health has been accorded with the responsibility to expedite the conversion works and put in place all necessary equipment and other facilities required to function as an isolation hospital.

The Phuentsholing hospital team under the guidance of The Southern Covid-19 Task Force (SC19TF ) has been working to mobilize the required medical equipment and supplies from the Medical Supply and Distribution Division (MSDD) and the hospital.

SC19TF chairman, home secretary Sonam Wangyel, said that major conversion works were completed while some minor works are expected to be completed within a week.

He said the isolation hospital is being established to be prepared for the worst-case scenario if the numbers of coronavirus infections become alarming. “The isolation hospital will not only help Phuentsholing but also the southern region especially Samtse,” he added.

“At present, the cases have been managed at the Royal Institute for Governance and Strategic Studies (RIGS) hospital,” he said, adding a hotel has also been identified as an additional requirement of an isolation hospital.

The hospital will be fully equipped to admit and treat the Covid-19 patients with the capacity of holding 200 beds.

And at present, the team has mopped and cleaned all the floors, set up 55 beds with blankets and pillows including 25 bed-sides lockers.

“There are adequate sanitary facilities, at least six toilets for 25 people, but since the building has been constructed to be used as an office, there are no bathrooms,” Sonam Wangyel said. “Given Phuentsholing is a hot place, we are also looking for bathrooms to be arranged.”

According to the health officials, they have awarded the quotation for the purchase of medical equipment including hospital beds that are expected to arrive within a week.

The ministry is working to install heating ventilation and air conditioning systems, Wi-Fi and television facilities, procurement of sitting amenities for the patients, and the purchase of mattresses and other supplies.

And also the activities of mechanical work especially the installation of ventilation units and the completion of the entrance door would be initiated at the earliest.

In addition, the ministry has also reworked and developed the human resource mobilization plan for the hospital as it has deployed the initial projected human resource to Jomotsangkha in Samdrup Jongkhar following the recent outbreak.

The conversion of the new isolation hospital would cost over Nu 43.125-million for the activities such as civil, electrical, and mechanical work and the procurement of medical equipment.