Teams in Thimphu to test for Phuentsholing arrivals

Govt plans to test one from every household in Thimphu

But only after finishing with those who came from Phuentsholing first

The Ministry of Health will be conducting mass testing in Thimphu with plans to test one person from every household in Thimphu.

The Prime Minister had earlier said that there are around 27,000 households in Thimphu. This means it would involve testing people around that number.

The MoH said this mass testing for the whole population of Thimphu will be done only after the registered people with travel history to Phuentsholing finish their testing.

Testing for people with travel history to Phuentsholing on or after 1st August was initiated starting 21st August 2020 whereby people are supposed to go to the test areas with their movement cards.

However, there was some confusion as people other than those who had come from Phuentsholing started showing up at the test centers to test the Phuentsholing arrivals.

The MoH said the Thimphu population testing will be officially announced by the National COVID-19 Taskforce only after the people with travel history to Phuentsholing are done with their testing.

A google doc form from the Prime Minister’s office was recently circulated on Facebook to collect information for the planned mass testing.

It said, ‘There is a possibility of the corona virus in Thimphu.  We are devising the most efficient way to test the population in the most scientific and quickest manner. This will be done through a sample testing of the population in the zones. The information you provide will be used to determine the sampling size and representative from households who may need to be tested in order to determine the extent to which the zones in Thimphu may have been affected by the virus.”

It asked people to provide the name and phone number of one person in the household who is the most active and goes out of the house the most. It said all information will be kept strictly confidential.

A Technical Advisory Group member of the MoH said that the government has planned to test one member of each household in Thimphu which was also confirmed by another MoH official in the know.

However, the TAG member said that given that the focus is on Phuentsholing such mass testing in Thimphu cannot happen until they wrap up in Phuentsholing and also finish testing the Phuentsholing arrivals in Thimphu.

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