Nima Wangdi

Two highlanders were home quarantined after testing positive in Lunana, Gasa yesterday. They arrived from Punakha on March 17. With this, all dzongkhags have reported Covid-19 cases during this lockdown except Trashigang.

Head of Royal Centre for Disease Control, Dr Sonam Wangchuk said people should not worry about the daily cases now since there is a change in the strategy. “We’re now closely following on positive and hospitalisation rate at dzongkhag and national levels.”

The dzongkhag level positivity rate as of yesterday was 17 percent.

He said that it appeared a bit high because most of the dzongkhags are still carrying out active testing. “They are in the last phase of testing some containment and primary contacts. The actual positivity rate is 2-3 percent.”

“Even in Phuentsholing, the cases were a bit high earlier while relaxing restrictions but it is stabilizing of late,” he said.

He said that there was no sudden spike even during this phase of relaxation which was good. “As we open up, the cases will go up. Maybe in a month after opening up fully, it might peak and then drop given the current scenario.”

The hospitalisation rate, for now, is also minimal at 0.05 percent. “We pick those moderate and symptomatic and there were only nine as of yesterday. We’re comfortable at the moment.”

Six have died with Omicron variant as of now maintaining the mortality rate at 0.03 percent.

Considering the worst scenario, projections show only about 800 will require oxygen support and 82 would need intensive care unit.

Except for Thimphu, most of the dzongkhags have lifted the restrictions. “We are so far so good,” he said.

Meanwhile, 588 new positive cases were recorded in the past 24 hours.