Kelzang Wangchuk  | Samdrupjongkhar

The rapid antigen test on 36 people, who had entered Samdrupjongkhar town from Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Thimphu before the lockdown, came out negative yesterday. 

Antigen test is conducted using a nasal swab and throat sample and is as good as an RT-PCR. It shows the result within 20 to 30 minutes.

The officials also conducted rapid antibody tests on 31 IMTRAT officials as they frequently visit India.

Samdrupjongkhar health officials went to the respective places such as Road Safety and Transport Authority office (RSTA), truck parking, and dzongkhag livestock office, among others to conduct the Covid-19 antigen test.

The chief medical officer (CMO), Dr Kezang Dorji, said that they had contact traced those who entered Samdrupjongkhar between August 1 and August 10 from Phuentsholing, Thimphu andGelephu.

He said although they had managed to trace about 128 people who entered Samdrupjongkhar, about 36 people were currently stationed at the town. Most of them had moved to Pemagatshel, Nganglam, Gelephu and Phuentsholing.

The CMO said that the officials would also move to Orong, Gomdar and Wooling, among others to test people who had come from Thimphu, Phuentsholing and Gelephu today.

“We’re conducting the test to the people who had come from those places to prevent the transmission of the virus in the community,” Dr Kezang Dorji said, adding that they had carried out contact tracing since the lockdown was announced.

A truck driver, Tashi, 39, said they could not sleep after they heard about the Covid-19 positive cases in Phuentsholing as they had also come from there.

“We tried and approached the officials for the test, but could not make it.”

“We are now feeling relieved as the officials conducted a test, and the result was also negative. We have learned that it is important to maintain the safety measures to ensure the safety in the community,” Tashi said.