Survival Analysis of Symptomatic COVID-19 in Phuentsholing Municipality, Bhutan

Kinley Gyeltshen, Tsheten Tsheten, Sither Dorji, Thinley Pelzang, Kinley Wangdi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


COVID-19 is a disease that is caused by a highly transmissible and pathogenic novel coronavirus: severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). All of the COVID-19 positive cases in Bhutanese travellers returning via the Phuentsholing point of entry, the local population, and Indian nationals were isolated in the Phuentsholing COVID-19 isolation ward, Bhutan. This study aimed to identify the risk factors for developing symptoms among COVID-19 positive patients in this ward. A retrospective cohort study was conducted using the data regarding COVID-19 positive cases in the Phuentsholing COVID-19 isolation ward from 28 May 2020 to 31 May 2021. The Cox proportional hazards regression model was used to identify the risk factors of developing COVID-19 symptoms. There were 521 patients in the study; 368 (70.6%) were males and 153 (29.4%) were females. The mean age was 32 years (with a range of 1-78 years), and 290 (56.0%) reported at least one symptom. The median length of isolation was eight days (with a range of 3-48 days). The common symptoms were: cough (162, 31.0%), fever (135, 26.0%), and headache (101, 19.0%). In the multivariable Cox regression, vaccinated patients were 77.0% (p = 0.047) less likely to develop symptoms compared to those who were not vaccinated. The front line workers and the mini-dry port (MDP) workers were 15 (p = 0.031) and 41 (p < 0.001) times more likely to be symptomatic compared to returning travellers. The young and economically active population group was most commonly affected by COVID-19. The presence of risk factors, such as being front line workers, MDP workers, or not being vaccinated against COVID-19, meant that patients had a higher probability of developing symptoms of COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10929
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


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