The third round of mass screening in Phuentsholing  will begin today.

Unlike in the past two screenings where only one member of a household was tested in some areas, everyone above five years of age will be tested this time.

However, residents living in identified red buildings and children below five will not be tested.

Today, the screening will begin from Mega Zone 3, which includes Pasakha and Ahalay-Pekarzhing, and conclude tomorrow. Then, from June 12, screening for Mega Zone 1 will commence and complete by June 15. Amochhu-Chamkuna, Dhamdara-Kabreytar and Core 2 fall under this zone.

Mega Zone 2 will be screened from June 16 to June 18. This is the most affected zone and which includes Core 1, Core 3, Core 4, and Rinchending Zone.

The three mega zones will also have to bear with some new rules this time during the mass screening. The zones will remain under complete lockdown during their respective mass screening periods.

All imports and exports will be suspended. Transportation via Sorchen will also be suspended. Home deliveries will be suspended.

Specifically, the Ahalay Land Customs Station will remain shut during the Mega Zone 3 screening on June 10 and June 11. On June 16 and June 18, MDP and truck parking will also remain closed as they fall under Mega Zone 2.

The Southern Covid-19 Task Force has made it clear that the decision to relax the lockdown will be based on the results from this mass screening.

Meanwhile, people say testing all the residents was a better decision.

A resident, Phub Tshering, said mass screening all was the right decision.

Hope all will come forward, he said.

Another resident, Namgay, said this time all must come out for mass testing.

This is the only way our town will be cleaned, he said, adding the lockdown will prolong without accurate information.

He also said there could be symptomatic people, who are afraid to test and not coming out. Past test records must be thoroughly checked, he added.

Recently, de-suups were also sent out to individual buildings to collect information. However, several people in the town area said no one had come.

Phuentsholing has also not seen any community transmission since June 4.

It is the 56th day today since the bordering town went into lockdown beginning April 17. The third lockdown was initiated after a 10-year-old boy from a school tested positive.

By Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

Edited by Jigme Wangchuk