Nima | Gelephu

As more Covid-19 cases emerge, Gelephu residents are questioning why the dzongkhag task force, including the dzongdag, medical superintendent and superintendent of police never came out of the containment area since the first detection of the Covid-19 positive case.

A resident, on the condition of anonymity, said task force members in other dzongkhags are moving around and monitoring the situation. “Our members never came out of the guest house area.”

However, the dzongkhag’s incident commander, Dzongdag Lobzang Dorji, said when the dzongkhag reported its first community case on January 16, the dzongkhag task force members were divided into two teams with five members each and worked in containment mode to date.

The dzongkhag reported the first case from the community after a soldier from Royal Bhutan Army turned up to test voluntarily along with the task force members who were undergoing one of the regular Covid-19 screenings on January 15.

The task force started working in containment mode as cases from the community increased by the day.

Sarpang is yet to come out clean with over 300 active cases in isolation facilities.

“We divided ourselves into two teams. So in case of contamination or compromises, team B would pick up the work. There was also another support team that was working separately in containment mode,” Dzongdag Lobzang Dorji said.

He said that the task force relied on security officials, police and desuups for monitoring. “The task force also relied on people’s compliance with the lockdown restrictions to contain the spread of the virus. This way no task force members were exposed or contaminated.”

According to the dzongdag, the support staff facilitating e-pass management, quarantine, and isolation facility team worked in a containment mode.

Task force officials say the officials left for monitoring other containment centres frequently but have not left for homes since they started working in a containment mode.

Meanwhile, Sarpang reported more than 850 positive cases since the first community case on January 16. Little over 50 percent of the cases recovered in Sarpang as of February 14.

Of the 150 cases that were reported from Kuendrup Higher Secondary School, only six students are in isolation today. The dzongkhag is readying the school to work in containment mode.

The task force is planning to relocate the remaining students. “The whole campus would be sanitised as the school prepares to work in containment mode for the upcoming board examinations,” Dzongdag Lobzang Dorji said.

The board examinations for class X and XII students is scheduled for February 28. Kuendrup HSS has about 80 students outside the campus.

Only three students from Sarpang Central School are in isolation today.

The school reported close to 80 cases in the past one month; a record number of cases beyond Gelephu thromde in Sarpang.

Sarpang reported 852 cases to date: 129 community cases, 672 contact cases, and 51 imported cases, according to the record with the Ministry of Health.