Nima Wangdi  

With the announced Covid-19 relaxation coming into effect from today, all Covid-19 testing centres in Thimphu will also be closed.

Health Minister Dechen Wangmo said that only about 40 people were coming to test in a day and keeping all the health officials at the testing centres was a waste of human resources. “Now the health officials can be deployed somewhere else.”

She said that the testing service would be available in all the health facilities in the country. She said there were seven testing centres in Thimphu, every mega zone with two each centre.

“The flu clinic at the RBP ground will continue to be there because of the high caseload. The samples for the daily tests and for those travelling abroad will be collected there,” Lyonpo said.

The minister also said that those who experience any flu-like symptoms should come for testing. Those who test on self-test kits at home should also report the result to the ministry so that it will be an easy reference should they require certificates later.

Meanwhile, Bhutanese returning home from abroad beginning today have the option of home quarantine (HQ) and need not necessarily undergo five days facility quarantine unlike before.

A press release from the Prime Minister’s Office stated that this applies to both Bhutanese and foreign nationals but it is not recommended for those who have elderly people, vulnerable family members and unvaccinated children at home.

“Those wishing to opt for home quarantine should submit the HQ form available on the Ministry of Health’s website along with an undertaking to the respective Covid-19 task force,” the press release stated.

Those entering from Samdrup Jongkhar and Nganglam should submit the forms to the Eastern Covid-19 task force. Others entering from Phuentsholing, Samtse and Gelephu should submit them to the Southern Covid-19 task force, and those entering via Paro should submit them to the quarantine facility management unit.