Residents of the three gewogs in Jomotsangkha drungkhag, Samdrupjongkhar receive essential items at their doorstep delivered by the de-suups to ensure there is no movement. 

Jomotsangkha drungkhag is under complete lockdown since May 21 after detecting the community Covid-19 positive cases, while Phajo Goenpa village in Lauri gewog is under a community quarantine. About 152 people, including Khashateng in Trashigang, have tested positive so far. 

Tashi Wangdi from Relnang village in Lauri gewog said they didn’t face any challenges for the essential items so far. He said residents call their tshogpa when they need an essential item, and the tshogpa then orders from the shop. He said that ordering over social media is not possible because most people in the villages do not use social media such as WeChat and WhatsApp.  

Momring chiwog tshogpa, Sonam Jamtsho, said that the villagers were more worried about the farm. “What would happen to our crops if the situation does not improve?”

Dendup, 54, from Phajo Goenpa, said they did not order any essential items so far as they have enough stock. He said that they would have to carry the essential items to the village from Thatshang, the road point. “De-suups have ensured us that they would help carry the items if we face any challenges.” Thatshang is about two hours walk from Phajo Goenpa.

“We have requested the gewog administration to deliver essential items separately to those who tested positive to minimise risks,” he said. 

The incident commander and Jomotshangkha Drungpa, Lamdra Wangdi, said the identified essential shops deliver to the village, and people are allowed to collect their orders from the shops without interacting with others. 

He said that the shops have enough stock, and the Food Corporation of Bhutan would supply the essential items if the shops face any shortage. “The gewog administrations also help in delivering the essential items.”

Meanwhile, no Covid-19 positive cases were detected in Jomotshangkha in the past few days as the first round of the mass testing was completed on May 28. 

As per the risk profiling, the villages of three gewogs in the drungkhag are divided into three categories- green, yellow and red villages.

The green village has about 53 villages with about 2,634 population and yellow village has six villages with about 832 people while red area has 10 villages with about 1,765 people.

The Eastern Covid-19 Task Force and Samdrupjongkhar medical desk identified about 20 health workers trained in swab collection and divided into four teams comprising of five officials each.

Three teams have left for Zangthi and Woongthi in Lauri gewog and Minjiwoong in Serthi gewog yeaterday while three teams are collecting the samples in Langchenphu gewog.

Lamdra Wangdi said the health officials would carry out the second mass testing in the drungkhag starting yesterday. He said that the testing would start from the green zone and then yellow and red villages or zones. The drungkhag has about 5,172 residents.

“We would test irrespective of every household member to ensure there is no residual virus and expected to complete within two to three days,” Drungpa Lamdra Wangdi said. 

By Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar

Edited by Tshering Palden