March 2, 2022
The current restrictions in Thimphu will continue until the board examinations are over and there will be separate announcements.
Register your child for the vaccine: Health Minister
COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer and BioNtech) for children have arrived in the country today. Paro Lam Neten and the monks from Paro Rabdey administered the 𝑇ℎ𝑟𝑢𝑒𝑠𝑒𝑙 𝐶𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑚𝑜𝑛𝑦 at Paro International Airport.
With the arrival of all the required vaccines to vaccinate children 5-11 years with both doses and booster for 12-17 years, Ministry will begin nationwide vaccination immediately. Micro plans in each districts has been completed. Deployment of vaccines to the districts will start from today from Thimphu after the lot clearance by DRA.
The registration for the vaccines began on 21st February 2022 coinciding with the birth anniversary of His Majesty The King. For those who haven’t registered their child, the health minister is urging all parents to register their children (between 5 to 11 years of age) through the Bhutan Vaccines System – bvs.moh.gov.bt
PM national address
Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering announced to the people of Bhutan that starting mid-April, the country will not resort to lockdowns even after the detection of COVID-19 cases in the community. This will happen after the completion of ongoing exams for Classes X and XII and the rollout of vaccines for children between ages 5 and 11.
This shifts the strategy of COVID-19 response in the country to an all new level. It changes the way we manage the disease in terms of quarantine, trace, test and treat, among others. The change in strategy is still pinned on our overriding policy of saving every life from COVID-19, as commanded by His Majesty.
The lockdown will be enforced in two special cases. One, we will closely follow the hospitalisation rate and bed occupancy in COVID-19 isolation wards. The moment we reach the threshold, lockdown will be enforced. Should there be a new lethal variant in the future, that too will trigger lockdown.
This calls for communities and individuals to shoulder the responsibility of protecting themselves and communities at large from infection. More details will be divulged phase-wise.
February 10, 2022
Covid-19 claims fifth victim in Bhutan
The health ministry announced one more death from COVID-19 today.
A 44-year-old woman, who resided in Wangdigatshel village in Phuentsholing, Chukha was suffering from Carcinoma (cancer) of gallbladder with liver metastasis under palliative care.
According to the ministry, she had complained of appetite loss, disorientation and bowel complications yesterday and was immediately evacuated to Phuentsholing hospital ER, for resuscitation and emergency medical intervention. “Despite all the efforts, she could not be saved.”
“It is always with so much pain and devastation that we share updates of such nature. Yet, amid the raging pandemic that we are fighting together, we are duty-bound to inform the unpalatable fact,” the ministry announcement stated.
All 8,910 samples collected from Core 2 mega zone during the mass testing yesterday tested negative.
February 9, 2022
Mass testing in Wangdue
Mass testing in Haebesa, Shingkhey Khatoed and Shingkhey Khamaed chiwogs under Tshowogm gewogs in Wangdue Phodrang will be conducted tomorrow (10th February 2022).
One individual from every household in aforementioned chiwogs has to come for the test.
𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐡𝐮 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐓𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠
Health ministry says the sample collection teams will be deployed to 𝐂𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝟏 𝐌𝐞𝐠𝐚 𝐙𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐭𝐨𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐫𝐨𝐰 (𝟏𝟎𝐭𝐡 𝐅𝐞𝐛𝐫𝐮𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟐). The residents of Core 1 Mega Zone are asked to 𝐞𝐧𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐦𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐟𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐲/𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐬𝐞𝐡𝐨𝐥𝐝 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐝𝐮𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐬𝐬 𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠.
The sample collection from Core 2 Mega Zone under Thimphu Thromde was completed today. Around 8,800 samples were collected and the results will be shared with the general public tomorrow.
As the mass Covid-19 testing in Thimphu extends to Core 2 mega-zone today, the health teams collected about 7,380 samples until this afternoon, according to the Prime Minister’s Office – PMO, Bhutan
From the South mega zone that was covered yesterday, 5,661 samples were collected of which three tested positive. The positive clusters are being secured on the ground, and contact tracing and further surveillance are underway.
“In this regard, the existing practice of movement within the respective mega-zone will continue until the mass screening of all other mega-zones is complete for the progressive opening. One representative from every household is being tested for a comprehensive epidemiological scenario,” the MPO’s announcement stated.
Subsequent public updates will be made at the end of the process.
72-hr blackout in Jomotshangkha with effect from 3pm today
Lockdown in Pugli and Gomtu in Samtse dzongkhag is extended by 7 days with immediate effect after sporadic cases were detected from the community.
February 8, 2022
Phuentsholing has 66 new positive cases today
Out of this, three are from the community, 32 from the containment centres, and 28 from facility quarantine. Three close contacts who were kept in home quarantine have also tested positive, according to the task force.
These are the results from the 409 samples were collected yesterday. Phuentsholing currently has 521 active cases.
A man tested Covid-19 positive from the community in Jomotshangkha, Samdrupjongkhar, this morning.
According to sources, he tested positive during the antigen test yesterday and the sample was sent for the RT-PCR test. It was confirmed this morning.
Meanwhile, as per the drungkhag Covid-19 task force officials, lockdown in Jomotshangkha would be imposed based on the test results of the collected samples as it is under risk assessment and sample collections.
𝐂𝐨𝐯𝐢𝐝-𝟏𝟗 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐝𝐨𝐬𝐞 𝐚𝐯𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐝𝐳𝐨𝐧𝐠𝐤𝐡𝐚𝐠𝐬
The health ministry has announced that eligible residents in green dzongkhags can get Covid-19 booster doses.
The rollout of booster doses in yellow and red districts will be planned as and when the Covid-19 situation in these districts improve.
So far, according to the ministry, 99.6% of the priority group and 61.3% of the eligible population (18 years and above) have received the boosters (third dose).
February 7, 2022
Tshongdue town in Paro cleared of Covid-19
Tshongdu town returns to ‘Green Zone’ status this evening after the two-day community testing did not find any positive cases from the community.
𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐡𝐮 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐓𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠
To facilitate safe transitioning of Thimphu Thromde from Yellow to Green Zone and to detect any residual cases, the health ministry will begin community testing tomorrow from the South Mega Zone.
A total of 31 testing teams including de-suups will be deployed to carry out the testing. One member of the household has to be tested during the mass screening.
Ministry of Health, Royal Government of Bhutan
Covid-19 tests in the dzongkhags
A series of community screenings for Covid-19 are underway in other parts of the country, according to an announcement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
These tests are carried out besides the daily enhanced surveillance and symptomatic testing to ascertain the epidemiological status of districts and areas to graduate to the next colour code.
For today, there are 10 green dzongkhags, one yellow and nine red dzongkhags, within which differentiated colour codes are maintained for proper disease management. A total of 191,136 tests were conducted across the country since January 16.
Every person from a household was tested until yesterday in all the yellow areas in Wangduephodrang to transit to green.
In Tsirang, a series of mass testing is underway and based on the results, some chiwogs have transitioned to green.
Paro transitioned to green this evening after two-day screening and over 1,478 samples.
Excluding Phuentsholing, mass testing has been carried out in Chukha and subsequently affected areas have transitioned to yellow and green respectively.
Samples were collected from the red areas in Dagana yesterday. The results will determine the transition of Dagana to yellow dzongkhag.
In Punakha, Pemagatshel, Samdrupjongkhar, Samtse, Sarpang and Phuentsholing, symptomatic and targeted testing is being carried out. The transitional testing will be carried out based on the ground situation.
Mass testing in Thimphu begins tomorrow
At least one person from every household in the capital MUST attend the mass Covid-19 testing in Thimphu starting tomorrow (February 8 ).
According to an announcement from the Prime Minister’s office, available data points towards an exhaustive 30,000 plus samples in the four mega-zones, while calculating a mandatory one person for every household for the test.
The mass screening that entails extensive coordination, significant manpower and resources, and technical engagement round the clock is an important move towards understanding Thimphu’s epidemiological status and tracking down residual COVID-19 cases.
Every sample will add clarity while considering Thimphu’s graduation from “yellow” to “green” status and give us confidence to design an effective path ahead amid the pandemic.
Residents are asked to note the following details:
1. The health team will analyse the outcome after the screening of each mega-zone and accordingly update the public. Those without positive cases will attain the “green” status and open up for all activities within that mega-zone, and beyond after the testing process is complete.
2. It is the responsibility of the Thimphu residents to ensure at least one member of your family comes forward for the testing. Please check with the de-suups in your locality should you feel your household is not notified.
3. There were instances in the past where households deliberately dodged the tests and later confided to their neighbours. Similar cases will not be tolerated this time. If detected later, the households will be dealt separately.
4. The health team will analyse the outcome after screening of each mega-zone and accordingly update the public. Those without positive cases will attain the “green” status and open up for all activities within that mega-zone, and beyond after the testing process is complete.
5. Positive cases, if any, will be managed as per the existing protocol of identifying red building and clusters for focused outbreak management.
February 6, 2022
February 3, 2022
Wangdue-Punakha Covid-19 task force begins 2-day testing in yellow zones of Wangdue today.
More than 235 samples from select areas in gewogs of Wangdue outside the red and yellow zones tested negative so far.
Sarpang reports five new cases
Sarpang reports five new cases today; one of the lowest cases in one day since the dzongkhag reported a community case on January 16, according to the Covid-19 task force.
Four cases were from facility quarantine and primary contacts of the index cases. There was one case from the community.
February 2, 2022
The Covid-19 task force has extended the lockdown in Samdrupjongkhar is until February 4 owing to the increasing number of cases from the community
January 30, 2022
Nganglam placed under 72-hr blackout with immediate effect after a frontliner and a resident test positive
January 29, 2022
Education ministry calls schools to strictly adhere to SoPs and Covid-19 protocols
January 28, 2022
Covid-19 claims 4th victim in Bhutan
A 34 -year-old female COVID-19 positive patient passed away in Thimphu during the early hours this morning, according to a press release from the health ministry.
The deceased was a chronic kidney patient on dialysis referred from Phuntsholing. The patient succumbed to cardiac complications due to underlying chronic kidney disease probably exacerbated by active COVID-19 infection.
From a total of 4,225 confirmed COVID-19 cases since 5th March 2020, this is the fourth death in the country.
Twenty-six Covid-19 positive cases have been detected in Samdrupjongkhar today.
Of the 26 cases, seven are from the community from Motanga Silicon cluster and 19 are contacts.
Meanwhile, nine individuals- five expatriate workers and four Bhutanese were declared as recovered in Samdrupjongkhar.
Five new Covid-19 cases in Samtse
Samtse Covid-19 task force declared a 72-hr ‘blackout’ in Norbugang gewog today after 5 tested positive from Yangphelthang (Bhimtar), a village in the gewog.
Gelephu reported 70 new cases
Gelephu reported 70 new cases from Kuendrup Higher Secondary School today after a cook from the school tested positive on Thursday.
22 girls and 46 boys out of 152 students in the school tested positive. Teachers and school staff are among those who tested positive from the same cohort.
The new cases include close contacts.
Sources said the school was working in containment mode and some students showed flu-like symptoms.
Sarpang reports 81 new cases
Sarpang reports 81 new cases including 72 cases from Kuendrup Higher Secondary School that was working in containment mode in Gelephu.
The dzongkhag also reported five cases from primary contacts and four community cases today.
Kuendrup HSS reported 73 cases in two days.
68 students and four staff, including family members of the staff, tested positive from the school today.
30 new positive cases have been detected in Phuentsholing today. Five are from the community.
13 are from the containment centres and 12 are from quarantine facilities. A total of 450 samples were collected yesterday.
Five more tests positive in Tsirang
Five primary contacts of the earlier two cases detected on Wednesday in Damphu town tested positive for Covid-19 in Tsirang.
The individuals- two government employees, a shopkeeper, and two children of the index case had been home quarantined since Wednesday. More than 60 contacts traced to date.
January 27, 2022
Some have misused the movement facility for stranded people and then visited places. They later tested positive for Covid-19. So far 9,000 people have registered as stranded in places away from homes.
“Refrain from travelling if not extremely necessary because it exerts pressure on the limited quarantine facilities. When the quarantine facilities run out of space who need to move out in critical circumstances will be affected,” Health Minister said.
The mass Covid-19 testing for Thimphu will be conducted from tomorrow (January 28, 2022) according to a notification from the PMO issued today.
For this, movement restrictions will transition from megazones to respective zones for Thimphu thromde and its periphery, based on which the tests will be scheduled and carried out. In doing so:
• People will be allowed to move only within their zones.
• For movement within zones, they have to follow the time indicated on the cards.
• Movement of cars are not allowed.
• In megazones where sample collections take place, shops will be closed. In other megazones, shops will be open.
The testing dates are as follows:
• North Megazone: January 28
• Core 1 Megazone: January 29
• Core 2 Megazone: January 29
• South Megazone: January 30
The health ministry will share the details of zone wise listing for sample collection soon.
We would like to urge everyone to come forward for testing. Finally, the results of the mass screening will give us an understanding of the extent of infection and determine the way forward.
Education ministry instructs schools to prepare for board examinations but its notification indicates the option of deferring the exams are still open.
Movement to be restricted during mass testing
In view of the positive Covid-19 cases in Thimphu, the national Covid-19 task force has decided on mass testing.
Clarification: We have confirmed that the mass-testing in Thimphu will be done for three days starting tomorrow.
Three-day mass testing in Thimphu soon
The facilitation of movement of stranded individuals from Thimphu will be stopped with immediate effect until further notice, the PMO has stated.
“This is in view of the upcoming three-day mass screening that will be conducted in Thimphu,” the notification from PMO stated.
Health minister Dechen Wangmo will be on BBS tonight to share the details of the testing arrangements, and other important COVID-19 related updates.
𝟏𝟎𝟏𝟎 𝐇𝐞𝐥𝐩𝐃𝐞𝐬𝐤 has been instructed to stop taking in registrations of new travellers from Thimphu. Those who have registered until the issuance of notification can be assisted upon thorough verification.
“The 𝐑𝐒𝐓𝐀 is also instructed to complete the deployment of busses for stranded individuals who have undergone RT-PCR tests and are cleared to travel to respective dzongkhags so far. No new arrangements are to be made hereon until notified otherwise,” the notification stated.
Students who are stranded in dzongkhags away from their schools will take their exams in schools in these dzongkhags, according to the education minister. The ministry will facilitate the change in exam centres for these students.
The decision comes after Lyonchhen conveyed to the education minister to see possibilities for students to have their exams in the current location to avoid movement and quarantine amid the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the country.
More directives will follow on January 30 upon instruction from the national Covid-19 task force. However, all students should be ready for the exams, the minister said.
One Covid-19 positive case has been reported from the community near silicon factory in Samdrupjongkhar today.
Meanwhile, 11 contacts tested positive in Samdrupjongkhar town, Gomdar and Orong gewogs.
January 26, 2022
January 25, 2022
January 24, 2022
January 23, 2022
Dagana Dzongkhag Administration declares 72-hour lockdown after a man, primary contact of a positive case in Lobesa, tests positive in the dzongkhag. He was placed in quarantine on January 20.
January 22, 2022
40 new cases from the red zones in Sarpang
Sarpang reported 23 new cases from Sarpang central school. All the new cases were close contacts of the index case reported yesterday.
17 new cases were from Gelephu; all cases were reported from within the same red zones in Gelephu Thromde that reported community cases since January 16.
The community cases in Gelephu region are within Namkhaling, Jampelling and Rabdeyling.
The total community cases from Sarpang is 95, including the 55 community cases reported till yesterday.
Seven more Covid-19 postive cases detected in Samdrupjongkhar from the community and one from the quarantine facility today morning.
Health officials traced 11 primary and 53 secondary contacts in Samdrupjongkhar, two primary and six secondary contacts in Dewathang, 11 primary and 35 secondary contacts in Gomdar and Wangphu gewogs and six secondary contacts in Orong gewog.
The officials would continue the contact tracing today.
January 20, 2022
All 13 dzongkhags, excluding Thimphu, have extended the lockdown at least by another 72 hours or until Jan 22.
A total of 22 positive cases have been detected in Phuentsholing out of which 15 are from community and seven from quarantine facilities.
Six of the community cases are from Tashi colony near Zimdra workshop, four cases from Zico building in lower market near Tashi BOD and two are from Truck parking duty (RBP) containment.
One case each are detected from Pemaling NHDCL, Damdara, and Tashi Wood and Panel industry near Pepsi Factory.
January 19, 2022
Samdrupjongkhar thromde and three neighbouring gewogs are placed under immediate 72-hr ‘blackout’ after numerous positive cases were detected in these areas.
Gelephu reported 8 community cases and three from the quarantine facility today.
Health officials say a case was reported from near flu clinic located at isolation ward.
Gelephu reported 28 community cases since January 16.
January 18, 2022
Eight new positive cases have been detected from the community in Phuentsholing from the 862 samples collected yesterday.
One positive case has also been detected from Gedu.
It was detected from a total of 121 samples collected yesterday, after a 52 year old man from Laptsakha, a returnee from Wangdue tested positive.
January 17, 2022
141 𝐧𝐞𝐰 𝐜𝐚𝐬𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝟐𝟒 𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬.
Age: 19 – 59 years old
Gender: 16 Female & 125 Male
Nationality: 48 Bhutanese & 93 Non Bhutanese
Location: Paro: 1 (Quarantine Facility ); Wangdue: 110( Community), Gelephu:6 (1 Quarantine Facility, 1 from Community and 4 Contacts); Phuntsholing: 23 (15 Quarantine Facility, 1 Contact, 1 traveller out of Wangdue, 6 from community); Samdrupjongkhar: 1 (Quarantine Facility)
People with flu-like symptoms residing in areas close to Rurichu in Wangdue ( where more than 50 people working at PHPA I project site tested positive) such as Bjimthangka, Ruebisa, Nahi, Gasetshogom, Gasetshowom, Athang, Darkar and Kamichu are asked to get tested.
(Picture: Residents at a testing centre in Wangdue)
𝗣𝘂𝗯𝗹𝗶𝗰 𝗔𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗮𝗹 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗰𝘁 𝗧𝗿𝗮𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗴
An individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 from the community in Gelephu has reported visiting the following places on 15 January 2022.
1. Vegetable Market (Sabji Bazaar)
2. Yarn stores
3. DK Mall
4. Pema Selden Enterprise/Gewarchand
5. Yarn/Kutpang Tshongkhang near Clock Tower
6. Nim Chand Tshongkhang
A 52 year old man from Laptsakha in Gedu, Chhukha tested positive for COVID 19 today.
He works at Punatsangchhu project in Wangdue Phodrang as a contractor and had come home on January 13. His family members have tested negative for Covid-19 on antigen test. They are waiting for RT-PCR results. Gedu region put under lockdown since morning. Contact tracing of the patient is underway.
January 16, 2022
All those who travelled out of Wangdue on or after January 10 are asked to come forward for testing.
The Prime Minister’s Office announced a “24-hour blackout” in 14 dzongkhags: Thimphu, Wangduephodrang, Punakha, Paro, Gasa, Haa, Chukha, Trongsa, Bumthang, Dagana, Sarpang, Tsirang, Samtse and Zhemgang with immediate effect.
No movement of people and vehicles are allowed, unless authorised for essential purposes. Emergency health related travels, which includes vehicles moving towards hospitals and health facilities, will be permitted. In gewogs in the above specified dzongkhags, individuals will be allowed to step out and attend to the important chores within the premises.
The notification from Prime Minister’s Office – PMO, Bhutan says, in addition to the detection of more positive COVID-19 cases in the quarantine facilities lately, the decision is arrived at after a suspected COVID-19 positive individual at Punatsangchhu project has possibly interacted, work related, with residents beyond.
The samples are being verified and upon confirmation, the public will be notified immediately. “We intend to take utmost caution and screen accordingly.”
“We will be carrying out the tests in all the above districts and further course of action will be determined following the results. Testing sites and cohorts who need to be tested will be notified by the local authorities.”
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