Mass screening being planned: Sowai Lyonpo 

Yangchen C Rinzin

With the Covid-19 cluster outbreak confirmed, the government is planning mass screening for Thimphu.

On the command of His Majesty The King, health ministry also plans to start a cluster testing in a particular locality.

Health Minister Dechen Wangmo during a live address yesterday said that the zoning team and health ministry’s technical advisory group (TAG) were already working on the plans to implement mass screening.

“We’re yet to decide whether we should test one person from one building or a member from each family for mass screening,” Lyonpo said. “For the cluster testing, we’re planning to first start with bus and taxi drivers.”

Lyonpo added that the plans for mass screening would complete in a day or two.

More than 2,500 people have been tested so far in Thimphu as of yesterday after the first outbreak where a 25-year-old woman tested positive from the flu clinic.

With over 38,000 people who travelled out of Thimphu from December 7 to 20, the minister appealed people to visit respective flu clinics in respective dzongkhags and get tested. “This would help us determine if virus has spread to other dzongkhags.”

Lyonpo said that to avoid unnecessary travel. About 1,000 frontliners in the southern borders were also tested. All results were negative.

  Two additional flu clinics have been set at Nima High School in Taba and another one at Chang Rigphel Primary School in Olakha.

Flu Clinic in Nima Higher Secondary School is for screening and testing services for northern Thimphu that includes Kabisa, Dechencholing, Taba, Langjophaka, Kawajangsa, Zilukha, Hejo, and Samteling.

Flu Clinic in Chang Rigphel Lower Secondary School will cater to the southern part—Changjiji, Lungtenphu, Olakha, Changbangdu, Simtokha, Lubding, Babesa, and Serbithang.

“It was found that many who tested positive had symptoms but did not visit the flu clinics during the contact tracing of index case,” Lyonpo said. “This is why we urge everyone to visit the flu clinic if you’ve any symptoms.”

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