Kelzang Wangchuk  | Samdrupjongkhar

Samdrupcholing drungkhag Covid-19 task force declared a 72-hour blackout in all four gewogs of the drungkhag yesterday after detecting a Covid-19 positive case from the community.

Officials said the blackout was imposed to conduct an epidemiological risk assessment and to investigate the positive case to ensure there is no residual virus in the community.

According to sources, a 55-year-old woman from Khamaedthang in Phuentshothang gewog went to the flu clinic because she had flu-like symptoms on February 10.

Health officials sent her sample to Dewathang for the RT-PCR test on the same day as when she tested positive during the antigen test.

It was confirmed that she had tested Covid-19 positive yesterday morning.

Although the medical team is still carrying out contact tracing and sample collections, sources said that the patient was home isolated and her primary contacts were put under home quarantine.

As per a notification the drungkhag issued, all offices and businesses will remain closed.

It stated that although movement is restricted, emergency health-related travels will be permitted with prior approval.

The notification also stated residents should be permitted to do all household chores like feeding animals and other farming-related activities within their premises. “However, they are not allowed to visit neighbours.”

According to the notification, concerned authorities will facilitate movement of people and vehicles from the drungkhag to low-risk areas after completing a week-long mandatory quarantine period.

Meanwhile, medical teams in Samdrupjongkhar will conduct mass testing in Samdrupjongkhar and Dewathang throm and yellow zones in Orong and Gomdar gewogs from tomorrow as per the National Technical Advisory Group’s (TAG) mass testing plan endorsed on February 8.

According to the Eastern Covid-19 task force’s notification, all individuals from every household are requested to come forward for the RT-PCR sampling.

It stated,  however, that patients recently recovered and released from the isolation centres, children under five years and individuals who have been tested three days before the mass testing will not have to come for the testing.