Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar  

About 18 people were quarantined for routine travel and four individuals for emergency travel as of yesterday after the Samdrupjongkhar dzongkhag Covid-19 task force reinstated the seven-day quarantine service on January 9.

The task force had temporarily suspended the quarantine service on December 22 last year with the surveillance and contact tracing for those who travelled to Samdrupjongkhar from Thimphu and Paro after December 17. 

Samdrupjongkhar Covid-19 task force reinstated the quarantine service for routine travels to other eastern dzongkhags after mass screening and random tests showed no presence of the virus. 

The task force officials said that the quarantine service was suspended temporarily to create required accommodation should the dzongkhag report a positive case from the mass screening and contact tracing.

Officials said the facility was suspended because every individual was locked in their homes without moving out and hence it was also as good as quarantine.

More than 10 people staying in Samdrupjongkhar and who were in quarantine discontinued because of the nationwide lockdown. The task force facilitated a bus service for about 40 stranded people who completed quarantine in Samdrupjongkhar.

People have to undergo the three-day quarantine for emergency travel and release on the fourth day upon testing negative. 

Those who travel to other dzongkhags have to undergo the seven-day quarantine as Samdrupjongkhar is a high-risk area because of the daily import and export of essential items and expatriate workers from India which pose a huge risk of Covid-19.

The dzongkhag also shares a porous international border with Assam and Arunachal Pradesh states in India.