Bhutan Shows The Way: Neighboring Country By And Large Successful In Containing COVID

-Dibyajyoti Borah

Registering only a single fatality from COVID-19, Bhutan has exhibited an exemplary COVID management system which is being praised globally.

The birthplace of the philosophy of Gross National Happiness, Bhutan has contained the spread of COVID 19 without even imposing a countrywide lockdown. Instead, they have closed down the international boundaries since last year and maintained a strict vigil on it.

With mere 337 doctors available in the whole country, which is, roughly the size of Switzerland, has also completed the vaccination of 90% of its population.

According to a WHO report, “In Bhutan, from January 3, 2020, to 3:28 pm CEST, May 19, 2021, there have been 1,309 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 1 death, reported to WHO. As of May 2, 2021, a total of 481,491 vaccine doses have been administered.”

Though the Himalayan nation relies heavily on foreign aid, its success is attributed to the provision of free universal health care — a key pillar of the country’s Gross National Happiness (GNH) philosophy — alongside its commitment to regular testing for anyone who is symptomatic or has come into contact with confirmed cases.