Neten Dorji | Trashigang

To assess the risks of Covid-19 in the communities, Trashigang and Trashiyangtse health officials collected more than 1,167 samples as part of the mass screening to implement further lockdown relaxation.

Trashigang dzongkhag health officials collected more than 567 samples from seven flu clinics in Tsangpo, Reserbu, Khaling, Kanglung, Trashigang, Bartsham and Ranjung. All tested negative.

The test was conducted as per the health ministry’s directive to carry out the antigen test for 600 people such as shopkeepers, drivers, frontlines and travellers in high-risk areas.

Health officials said as of now there is no indication of the infection in the dzongkhag and things looked good. “We are hoping that further relaxation would go as per the government’s plan,” said an official.

Residents said that they were relieved everyone tested negative. “Most of the people were worried about the virus,” said a resident, Tandin Wangmo. “We feel safe after the mass screening.”

She said they are relieved but are cautious wherever they see new faces in the town.

Wangchuk who resides in Trashigang town didn’t want to miss the test for he feared the neighbours’ retribution. “While the government is giving free tests, we have to support and get tested,” he said.

Karma Gyeltshen, 70, said there were still some who took the virus lightly. “We can’t be sure unless we adhere to the safety protocol.”

Meanwhile, the health official in Trashiyangtse collected more than 600 samples. All tested negative.

The officials said that they were testing in all high-risk areas and those who came from Thimphu and Paro. Trashiyangtse Dzongdag, Thuji Tshering said, “The unlocking phase would begin based on the National Covid-19 Taskforce’s recommendation.”

Health officials said there is no shortage of medical equipment and testing kits in the dzongkhags.