Tshering Palden

The silver lining of the lockdown is that the 25-year-old, who tested positive to Covid-19, had followed the health ministry’s safety protocol: used facemask, and Druk Trace mobile application.

The application made tracing those who came in contact with the woman quicker and easier, Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering said.

More than 150 of her contracts were traced through the Druk Trace application as of yesterday evening. The ministry traced around 1,700 people altogether which also enhanced testing and placing necessary contacts in quarantine.

The woman and seven of her primary contacts picked the virus around 12 days ago. However, Lyonchhen said that since the woman used face mask diligently she couldn’t have infected many.

In the face of a looming national lockdown, using the preventive measures was the best defence against the pandemic in absence of a vaccine, lyonchhen said.

“The lockdown for now is in Thimphu but residents across the country should be concerned and not endanger themselves,” Lyonchhen said.

While travel out of the capital is prohibited until tomorrow,  those from other dzongkhags should travel to Thimphu under extremely urgent conditions.

Almost 38,000 people have travelled to other parts of the country in the past fortnight, so the infection might have spread too.

Lyonchhen said that those in Thimphu with flu-like symptoms should visit the flu-clinics placed across the city. “Thimphu is under complete lockdown but those visiting the flu clinics will be allowed to move,” Lyonchhen said.

Those who have travelled from Thimphu to other dzongkhags on or after December 7 are asked to report to the nearest flu clinic to get tested for Covid-19.

The Ministry of Health and Media Council of Bhutan is asking the public not to circulate fake news since it creates unnecessary panic among the public.

“This is a very critical time where we seek solidarity and support from all,” the ministry appealed to citizens on its official Facebook page.

The Council stated that circulating fake news including images is an offence under the Information, Communications, and Media Act 2018 and threatened prosecution against violators.