Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar

Health officials and taskforce members are screening and conducting Covid-19 tests in targeted and vulnerable places after detecting two positive cases from the community in Samdrupjongkhar town on January 19.

Eastern Covid-19 Task Force (EC-19TF) Chairman Dasho Pema Chewang said a 30-year-old man who tested positive on January 19 lives in the main town. “Most of his colleagues stay in the National Housing Development Corporation Limited’s (NHDCL) housing colony.”

He said the health team and taskforce members are collecting samples from the NHDCL housing colony, the main town, the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) colony, and other vulnerable places for the RT-PCR test. “Health officials will also collect samples from where the dzongkhag staff stay.”

Dasho Pema Chewang also said their priority is to carry out risk assessment, contact tracing, and detect the cases to ensure safety in the community, and not to find out the sources. “It is difficult to find the source anyway.”

He said they had put the primary contacts under facility quarantine, and patients in non-hospital isolation centres. “Health officials will continue to collect the samplings from the targeted places.”

He said there are monitoring systems and standard operation procedures (SOP) for the loaders in place, adding that the taskforce has deployed designated security at the loader’s containment area and keeps reviewing the SOP based on the situation. “We have asked them to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) to monitor the loaders and desuups would also monitor them.”

Meanwhile, eight more Covid-19 positive cases were reported in Samdrupjongkhar from the community, and one from the quarantine facility yesterday 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.

Officials are still carrying out contact tracing and testing.

About 15 positive cases have been reported from the community in Samdrupjongkhar since January 11.