… Around 900 individuals traced and tested as of yesterday

Nima | Gelephu

Four men and a woman residing at the Royal Bhutan Army housing colony near the State guesthouse in Gelephu tested positive from the community yesterday.

The 39-year-old man tested positive during one of the regular Covid-19 screenings conducted on Sunday.

Four tested positive for Covid-19 from the same colony towards the afternoon yesterday when health officials were conducting contact tracing and testing after the 39-year-old man tested positive.

The man had not travelled beyond the dzongkhag recently. Close to 400 contacts of the index case from Pelrithang Royal Bhutan Army colony and 22 primary contacts from an outpost in Singye gewog were traced and tested yesterday.

All primary contacts the man had visited at the outpost while on duty tested negative. Of 326 samples traced and tested from the Pelrithang army colony and the colony near the guesthouse in Gelephu, one female and three tested positive yesterday.

Of the 322 samples collected from contacts traced and tested yesterday after the five community cases came negative yesterday, according to the task force officials.

All five cases reported from the community are asymptomatic.

One of them had visited the vegetable market, Yarn stores, DK Mall, Pelden Enterprise, Yarn Tshongkhang near the clock tower, and Nim Chand Tshongkhang on 15 January.

People who visited these shops in Gelephu were asked to test for Covid-19. A total of 322 samples collected yesterday during the contact tracing and testing for the five community cases were negative.

Over 900 samples were traced and tested in Gelephu and surrounding gewogs to date.

Current situation

Surveillance teams are dispatched for mass testing and to trace contacts of the positive cases reported yesterday.

Eight different health teams are deployed in Pelrithang Khamed, Namkhaling, Samdrupling, Jampeling, Rabdeyling, Sonam Gatshel and Tashiling in Gelephu for contact tracing and, sample collection and testing.

About 1,000 samples were collected and the RT-PCT test was underway yesterday.

The dzongkhag released 101 regular travellers and 31 foreign workers from quarantine facilities after completing the mandatory quarantine period. Five Indian workers who discontinued mandatory quarantine, including three positive cases, returned to India yesterday.

According to the dzongkhag task force officials, 104 routine travellers and 26 foreign workers would be released from the quarantine facility today.

Officials said that empty quarantine facilities are reserved in case the dzongkhag reports multiple cases. The task force is in the process of converting Gelephu airport buildings into isolation facilities.

Officials also facilitated the movement of stranded people on a need basis; export and emergency medical services were also facilitated.

Gelephu hospital would be starting mobile medical services after the contact tracing and testing are completed.

Sarpang reported community cases after one year yesterday after it reported its first Covid-19 case from the community in March 2020.

Following a notification from the Prime minister’s office, the dzongkhag commenced movement within the zone system for 72 hours yesterday. People are allowed to move within the zone using the movement cards distributed in the second lockdown last year.