All contacts of index case in Gelephu test negative so far

Nima | Gelephu

Health officials have completed testing all primary and secondary contacts of the index case in the Gelephu central regional referral hospital.

The test results of the remaining 11 primary contacts are expected today.

Contact tracing team from Gelephu CRRH conducted over 300 tests after the dzongkhag reported its second Covid-19 case on August 10, resulting in the nationwide lockdown.

Test results of all 278 secondary contacts in the dzongkhag, mostly from Sershong village, came negative on the rapid antibody test performed in the past three days.

There were a total of 98 primary contacts. Of that, 86 primary contacts tested negative on both RDT antibody and RT-PCR test conducted so far.

The remaining test for 11 primary contacts, believed to have come in contact with the index case on August 10 was done yesterday.

Medical Superintendent of CRRH, Dr Dorji Tshering said the tests were usually done after three to five days since the last contact with the case or the suspect. “Many think it should be done immediately which is not the way,” he said.

With the nationwide lockdown in place, the testing of the contacts was slower and time-consuming because the health officials have to move door-to-door.

All primary contacts of the index case are either under facility quarantine or home quarantine – 71 primary contacts are under facility quarantine and 27 are home quarantined.

The official added that the team could confidently say that there is no local transmission. “None of the family members who were in close contact with her for a long time tested positive. All of them came negative. The risk of local transmission is low,” said Dorji Tshering.

The 27-year-old who is currently in the isolation ward is in stable condition and has no symptoms. She was in Sershong most of the time with her relatives and family members.

However, the community surveillance is not yet over and the team would continue to revisit the village, according to the officials.

With the Phuentsholing declared as a red zone, the contact tracing team also started to test truckers who had travelled from Phuentsholing to Gelephu in the past one week.

A total of 83 truckers travelled from Phuentsholing to Gelephu between August 4 and 11. The test is done in relation to a Covid-19 positive case reported from a 25-year-old mini dry port loader on August 11.

Out of 83 truckers, only 31 truckers are in Gelephu- 20 truckers were tested yesterday as of 9pm. The team also tested 50 Indian loaders who were involved in loading and unloading in Gelephu to date. The results are expected today.

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