Circuit | Society | South Asia
In just over two weeks, Bhutan has vaccinated more population than any other country in the world except the Seychelles.
As plotted on the graph, the curves of Bhutan’s COVID-19 vaccination run upward from day one, overtaking Israel, the United States, Bahrain and other countries known for their rapid vaccination. fast.
It took those countries months to reach their positions, carefully ramping up their vaccination campaigns in the face of rising coronavirus infections. But the story of Bhutan’s vaccination campaign is almost over – just 16 days after it began.
The tiny Himalayan kingdom between India and China has vaccinated nearly 93% of the adult population since March 27. Overall, the country has vaccinated 62% of its 800,000 people.
The rapid deployment of the vaccine leaves this small country second only to the Seychelles, which has vaccinated 66% of its population of nearly 100,000 people.
The small population has helped Bhutan grow rapidly, but its success is also thanks to the country’s dedicated citizen volunteers, known as “desuups” and the establishment of the cold chain storage system used in previous vaccinations.
Bhutan received its first 150,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from neighboring India in January, but the injections have been delivered starting late March to coincide with a good day in Buddhist astrology.
The first dose of medicine is given to a woman born in the year of the Dragon Body, accompanied by Buddhist chants of prayer.
“Let this little step of mine today help us all overcome this monstrous disease,” said the recipient, 30-year-old Ninda Dema, quoted by the country’s Kuensel newspaper.
Dr Pandup Tshering, secretary of the Ministry of Health, said the shots were still being offered to those who could not be vaccinated during the campaign period and that the country had enough doses to cover the entire population.
Bhutan has recorded 921 cases of coronavirus infection and one death since the pandemic began. As of April 12, the country has 45 active cases.
Bhutan has a mandatory 21-day quarantine requirement for all people who come to this country. All schools and educational institutions are open and monitored for compliance with the COVID-19 protocol, Tshering said.
Bhutan is the last remaining Buddhist kingdom in the Himalayas. But the country has transformed from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional, democratic monarchy.