Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar

Samdrupjongkhar Covid-19 taskforce announced yesterday that the zoning system would be activated in the throm up to Pinchina checkpoint beginning today until further notice.

Only one person from a household at a time will be allowed to move within the specified time and place, according to the notification from the taskforce. Only designated shops within the zones and essential services will be available as the zone cards issued earlier.

Sporting activities are prohibited and all schools, institutions, offices and business establishments will remain closed. However, schools are asked to conduct online teaching.  Essential items will be delivered to containment zones and constructions that are in containment mode are allowed to continue.

The import and export will continue as usual as per the existing Covid-19 standard operating procedures, according to the task force.

While new registration for facility quarantine is suspended, emergency patient referral and those who have completed quarantine will be allowed to leave.

Essential health care services will be provided as per the cluster essential medical services and flu clinic at Tendrelthang will remain open between 9am and 3pm.

The measures, implemented following the directive from the eastern Covid-19 task force, comes after Samdrupjongkhar reported many positive cases from primary and secondary contacts of the recent Covid-19 patient from the police station in Samdrupjongkhar.

A 36-year-old woman staying in the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) colony tested positive for Covid-19 positive from the community on May 3.

The second community case was detected during the mass screening on May 6, where a 26-year-old police constable tested positive.

Samdrupjongkhar dzongkhag Covid-19 task force declared a three-day lockdown in the town on May 7 to establish the sources of the infection and prevent the spread of the virus in the community.

More than 2,022 individuals were tested during the five-day mass screening in the town.

Another police personnel tested positive in the police station on May 8, and he was the primary contact of the 26-year-old constable, who tested positive from the community on May 6. Since then, the police station was also closed, as they stayed in the station after a woman tested positive from the RBP colony.

Health officials traced about 11 primary contacts and about 113 secondary contacts of a policeman. The primary contacts were put under the facility quarantine and the secondary contacts are under home quarantine.

Another three from the quarantine centre tested positive on May 9 including the 36-year-old woman’s husband and daughter.

“Although the primary contacts are in facility quarantine and secondary contacts in home quarantine, the task force is not comfortable to open the lockdown immediately given the high number of the school going students identified among the close contacts,” an official said.