An Outbreak

Finally, what our leaders and health authorities have been warning about for weeks have come true with a third outbreak from the community in Phuentsholing, with a student and mother testing positive followed by five more cases.

This is in addition to four frontline workers on quarantine duty in Phuentsholing also testing positive.

As contact tracing is done more cases  may emerge from the border town.

In an important lesson, all adults who had been vaccinated turned positive showing that vaccination does not confer complete protection and that we are still yet to develop immunity. 

This is why it is so important to develop the mindset that the vaccine is just one of the measures to tackle COVID-19 apart from measures like good ventilation, facemasks, social distancing and hand washing.

The most likely source of the current infections is from across the border in India which has seen an explosion of cases in the last couple of weeks with record numbers and deaths.

However, it is just not the numbers that are a concern as the surge in India seems to be driven by new variants which are more easily transmissible with the main variant even having immune escape properties.

A particularly chilling property of all the new variants are that they now impact children unlike the original virus which did not transmit easily and mostly spared children. This is a matter of concern as the bulk of our unvaccinated population are children.

One can only hope that the mass national vaccination program and the 7-days quarantine will blunt this third community outbreak, but there are no guarantees.

The blame this time around can be laid squarely on the feet of the people who developed a sense of complacency especially after the vaccine and also COVID-19 restrictions fatigue.

People gave up on facemasks, had huge gatherings, did not social distance and ventilation was not a priority. Even the use of Druk Trace fell sharply.

Though the second out break was spread through archery matches people again resorted to playing archery in large numbers and mostly without masks.

“There are in nature neither rewards nor punishments — there are consequences.”– Robert G. Ingersoll

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