Chances of those who have tested COVID-19 positive or who have undergone quarantine as being the source is very minimal: Health Minister

People are speculating on what could be the source of the ongoing local transmission of COVID-19. Many are of the opinion that it could either be spread by the people who have stayed in the 21-day quarantine facility or those who could have relapsed after testing COVID-19 positive.

Health Minister, Dasho Dechen Wangmo, in response said that they cannot be 100 percent sure if those are the sources of the local transmission.

“It is important for people to know the sequence of quarantine facility, it is different from other countries’ quarantine facilities. Day one they will be tested followed by testing after 7 days. Likewise, they will be again tested after 14 days and respectively after 21 days,” Lyonpo Dasho Dechen Wangmo added.

Those in quarantine are tested four times, and if they test negative then they are released from the quarantine. Further, Lyonpo said that if anyone shows any kind of symptom, then the person is tested immediately.

She said the Ministry of Health is confident that the local transmission was not caused by anybody who has undergone quarantine or has once tested COVID-19 positive.

The first community transmission would have taken place between the end of November and first week of December, Lyonpo said, adding that it is difficult to say with assurance from where and how it happened.

Lyonpo said that when a person tests positive for COVID-19, then the person is immediately moved to the isolation ward, whereby the patient is not declared as being recovered from COVID-19 unless the tests show negative twice. It is only then the patient is moved to the de-isolation for 14 more days.

Thereby, Lyonpo said, “The chance of ex COVID-19 positive and people who have come out of the quarantine being the source of local transmission is very minimal. Transmission from along the border can also happen as we share 700 km border in the south. We do not need 1,000s of people to transmit; just one person with (COVID-19) positive will do to spreading.”

Therefore, the government does not encourage any gatherings, and this is the reason for implementing the lockdown, she added.   

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