Tshering Namgyal | Mongar

All 16 primary contacts of the 38-year-old non-Bhutanese man, who had come from Wangdue and tested positive for Covid-19 at Gyalpoizhing, Mongar, were traced and quarantined yesterday.

A Punatshangchhu Hydropower Project-II driver who had come to drop off equipment at the Kurichhu Hydropower project tested positive during a routine test at the flu clinic in Gyalpoizhing hospital on January 18.

The result of the RT-PCR at the Covid laboratory in Mongar confirmed the status at 2.30am yesterday.

Surveillance teams from Gyalpoizhing hospital and Mongar eastern regional hospital began to trace the primary contacts and identified 16 people, including a newborn, so far.

Out of the 16 people, five had contact with the driver on the way from Wangdue to Gyalpoizhing and 11 at the flu clinic.

The driver, who was kept in the isolation room of the KHPC project upon arrival, as he had come from a high-risk area, was brought to the isolation centre in Mongar yesterday.

It is learnt that the driver began his journey from Wangdue on January 15 and arrived at KHPC at 1am of January 17, because his vehicle broke down at Thrumshingla.

Two Thrumshingla choeten caretakers, who had helped the driver repair his vehicle, were identified as primary contacts and taken to the quarantine facility in Bumthang.

Among the other contacts, 11, including a newborn, were quarantined in a facility in Mongar, and three in Doksum, Trashiyangtse.

Officials are also conducting sample collection and tracing secondary contacts.

Mongar declared a 24-hour blackout period in Gyalpoizhing, Lingmethang, Sengor ,and Mongar town yesterday after detecting the first Covid-19 positive case in the dzongkhag.

Meanwhile, flu clinics in Mongar and Gyalpoizhing conducted antigen tests for more than 100 people, mostly frontline workers and a few with a travel history from high-risk areas.

While the antigen results were negative, results of the RT-PCR tests are pending.