43 Dantak and 5 IMTRAT officials test COVID-19 Positive

On Friday the Health Minister announced that 3 IMTRAT officials had tested positive with the COVID-19 virus as new cases.

She mentioned that earlier 16 people from project DANTAK in Phuentsholing tested positive and 2 IMTRAT officials which includes one in Thimphu and one in Phuentsholing had also tested positive.

This was a total of 5 for IMTRAT.

By  Sunday 27 more DANTAK people tested positive in Phuentsholing pushing the number to 43 for DANTAK.Health Minister Dechen Wangmo said above cases which were reported is not because that they didn’t follow the lockdown guidelines. She said they have followed the lockdown rules and they were cooperative when the health officials went there for testing. She said they must have got the infection earlier and maybe the virus was already there.

Talking about treatment she said they will be treated similar to fellow Bhutanese. “There will not be any different guidelines for them and that they will be taken care as per the guidelines prepared by the Ministry of Health,” said Lyonpo.

The Health Minister was asked on if the DANTAK and IMTRAT had not followed the lockdown properly or other COVID-19 protocols and that what can be done to monitor that they do.

Health Minister said irrespective of the nationality, all the people will be tested as per the national protocol.

“When you are in a country, you must follow the same protocol.  You cannot custom design protocol for different people. It is a national protocol whether that be testing protocol, quarantine protocol or movement protocol that applies to everyone,” said Health Minister.

She made it clear that the same rules apply for everyone and she denied that DANTAK or IMTRAT officials had been given any leeway.

The announcement of the large numbers of cases in DANTAK and IMTRAT led to a lot of discussion in the social media with many Bhutanese questioning if they had taken proper care and that if Bhutan’s COVID-19 fight may get undermined by the two agencies.

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