Only those who test positive are to receive calls

Rajesh Rai  | Phuentsholing

Many residents in Phuentsholing were left panicking when they didn’t receive calls about their test results after the recent mass surveillance testing.

The samples were taken days ago and when the surveillance team left for Thimphu, they were in a dilemma.

Health Minister Dechen Wangmo in a press conference yesterday evening in Thimphu said that only positive cases would be contacted.

“We will only call when it is a positive case because there are other important procedures to follow as doctors have to check them and quarantine.”

If the health ministry officials were to call and inform each and everyone, the health minister said that thousands of people would have to be called. However, lyonpo said that they have also considered informing people through SMS.

A resident of Pipal Dara, Sonam Penjor, said that he expected a call because he had met so many people just prior to the lockdown.

Another resident in Pemaling said that he and his family worried the most when 12 new positive cases were reported recently.

“It was natural for us to get worried. We waited for two days and there was nothing,” he said.

He said that there were rumours of the places from where the 12 were detected, which got many worried.

“If they could have at least informed a few from one particular community or one person in a building, it would have eased the tension,” he said.

Meanwhile, during the conference, the health minister Dechen Wangmo also emphasised that people should be at home during the lockdown.

“But to be honest, this is not happening.”

The minister also shared that a few who later tested Covid-19 positive had been to others’ homes or had visitors in their houses. This only adds to more contract tracing, she said. 

“If people had not been anywhere, then contract tracing may not have to go beyond one family.”

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