They were suspended for a few hours after frontline worker tested positive

Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar

Imports and exports in Samdrupjongkhar, which were suspended after one of the frontline workers at the border checkpost (BCP) tested Covid-19 positive yesterday morning, resumed at 3pm after sanitising the area.

Health officials said although the positive case was detected from the containment centre, the BCP was closed to ensure safety in the community as per health advice.

They said the imports and exports were also closed for a few hours because health officials required time to sanitise the areas and to arrange the replacement for duty.

A member of police personnel at the BCP tested Covid-19 positive during the routine enhanced surveillance. All the security personnel of the BCP were tested on January 10. However, all tested negative.

Health officials traced about 40 primary contacts of the police personnel in question, which included 19 police persons, a staff member of Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA), and 20 desuups.

Officials also traced about 16 secondary contacts, which included nine customs officials and seven soldiers of the Royal Bhutan Army (RBA) while all the security personnel were in containment mode.

According to health officials, all the containment centres at the BCP were sanitised, primary contacts were put under quarantine, and new cohorts of police and desuups were deployed at the BCP.

Meanwhile, residents said it is becoming riskier because frontline workers deployed for the quarantine duties are also testing Covid-19 positive despite strict protocols.

They said they still did not understand how the frontline workers in the quarantine facilities and security personnel at the outposts (OP) test positive, as they do not have direct contact with the people.

“Concerned authorities such as the task force and logistics team should monitor more strictly, because we suspect those on quarantine duty to have contact with the people in quarantine and outside,” a resident, Pema, said.