Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar

The Eastern Covid-19 Task Force (EC19TF) identified about three non-hospital isolation centres as Samdrupjongkhar witnesses an increasing number of positive cases.

The dzongkhag saw 31 cases, including 13 from the community.  Samdrupjongkhar town, Dewathang, Orong, and Gomdar gewogs together detected 14 cases in contacts, and four were imported.

The task force and medical teams are carrying out contact tracing and mass testing to ensure safety and no residual virus in the community.

According to the task force officials, about 249 Covid-19 positive cases, including expatriates and returnees, have been reported in Samdrupjongkhar as of yesterday, since January 1. Fifty-eight were from the community.

EC19TF chairman Dasho Pema Chewang said the task force identified the dzongkhag court, the livestock office in Dewathang, and Dewathang gewog meeting hall as the non-hospital isolation centres.

He said that they had also identified Dewathang hospital as an isolation centre should they detect any severe cases and if the situation worsens. He said that those who tested positive often do not tell the truth. because of which it was difficult for the surveillance team to reach out to everyone.

“People should come forward and support us to ensure the safety in the community, as the concerned authorities alone cannot contain the spread of the virus,” Dasho Pema Chewang said.



Residents of Pemgatshel are wondering how a frontline worker from the low-risk outpost (OP) at Tshobaley in Nganglam, Pemagatshel, tested Covid-19 positive.

Residents said that since the frontline worker had no contact with the frontline workers at the high-risk OP, he had minimal chances to be infected.

They said the medical team carried out contact tracing in Pemagatshel. Shops in Denchi and Pemagatshel town were closed after it was known that the frontline worker’s contacts had visited most of the shops.

“More frontline workers are also testing positive,” a resident said. “It is also important for the concerned authorities to find out the source of infection.”

The incident commander and Pemagatshel dzongdag, Yeshey Rangrik Dorjee, said the frontline worker who tested positive was deployed there for public services delivery, and that they were trying to find out how he got infected. “But the frontline worker told us he had no contact with the frontline workers in the high-risk area.”

He said the medical team traced about 32 primary and 137 secondary contacts. About eight shopkeepers were told to remain in home quarantine as some of the primary contacts visited their shops.

Meanwhile, 35 Covid-19 positive cases, including community cases, have been reported in Nganglam as of yesterday.