Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar

Eight teams of health officials began collecting swab samples yesterday in Samdrupjongkhar thromde as part of the mass surveillance.

The teams were deployed in the four zones in the thromde and started collecting samples from the lower town yesterday. The teams collected about 1,343 samples yesterday. 

The swab samples collected from two members of every household would be sent for the RT-PCR test to Covid-19 testing centre at Dewathang hospital.

The incident commander (IC) and Samdrupjongkhar dzongdag, Tharchin Lhuendup, said they are conducting the test to every household because it was unknown how the index case, the 18-year-old woman who tested positive on September 7, contracted the virus.

“She also does not have travel history.”

The dzongdag said that two members – an elderly and the one who goes out from every household would be tested for Covid-19.

“It is also to assess the risk of community transmission in the thromde.”

“The results would be reported to the government, and the relaxation or unlocking would be carried out as per the government’s order,” Tharchin Lhuendup said, adding that they would also conduct the test at Dewathang town.

A resident, Khandu said that they were worried after an 18-year-old tested positive because the source was unknown.

She said that the concerned agencies should restrict Indian trucks into Samdrupjongkhar ferrying grocery items during such situations.

“But we are happy as there is no local transmission. We also hope that all the results would be negative,” Khandu said.