To isolate the positive cases and ease the pressure on the limited facilities in the towns, the Eastern Covid-19 Task Force (EC-19TF) on May 28 established the non-hospital isolation centres close to the respective villages at Jomotshangkha in Samdrupjongkhar.

According to officials, the medical team led by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) from Samdrupjongkhar hospital established the non-hospital isolation centres, in consultation with the task force (TF).

Health officials said the non-hospital isolation for Lauri gewog is set up at the gewog centre to cater to Momring, Relnang, Taksang, Phajo Goenpa and Khashateng villages. It can cater to about 55 people.

The isolation centre for Serthi gewog established at the gewog centre in Minjiwoong can accommodate 45 people. It would cater to Monmola, Tashithangjey, Barkalangnang and Darjewoong villages. Another centre was opened at the drungkhag office for those from Jangsa in Langchenphu gewog and those who cannot be accommodated in the gewog centres.

Officials said the centres have two doctors, six staff nurses, three swab collectors, and six desuup and police personnel with portable oxygen cylinders, basic medicines, vital monitors and rapid antigen testing kits. The centres also have medicines and equipment besides three ambulances.

“The clinics should be reached out to the communities to ensure easy access for daily monitoring of their symptoms and tests instantly. However, any serious cases would be referred to Samdrupjongkhar and Mongar isolation centres,” a health official said.

Meanwhile, all the cases have contacted each other directly or indirectly in the five successive social gatherings before lockdown on May 21, primarily in three communities, according to TF officials.

The EC-19TF member, Gonpo Tenzin, said that people attended social gatherings at Khashateng on May 1, May 8 and May 14, choekhor at Jompa in Lauri gewog on May 15 and nyung-ney and throema at Darjiwoong in Serthi gewog from May 19 to May 21.

He said that the nine villages of the three gewogs in Jomotshangkha completed the first round of the mass testing on May 28. About 1,694 samples have been collected, of which 152, including those from Khashateng in Merak, Trashigang tested positive so far.

Gonpo Tenzin said that the last round of the mass testing would be carried out to see any residual cases in the community after 21 days. The result of the test would determine lockdown relaxation measures.

By Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar

Edited by Tshering Palden