How other dzongkhags with COVID-19 positive cases are responding

Six days on since the second lockdown, the country has seen an increasing number of COVID-19 positive cases. Apart from Thimphu, Paro has been receiving the second highest number of positive cases till date.

According to Paro Dzongdag, Tenzin Thinley, the Shaba cluster in Paro is declared as a red zone with restrictions since the cases started from there. He said that the area is considered the most vulnerable area and they have not allowed people to come outside to buy any essentials.

“When we get the call in our toll free numbers, our identified DeSuups will do the delivery. The essentials are being disinfected and then delivered,” he said.

And as for the people stranded in Paro, they are being tested for COVID-19, and those declared negative are allowed to travel.

He said, “In terms of testing, our health workers are in the field and carrying out mass screening. And also those secondary contacts are also being informed to stay at home. We have also gewog taskforce who are stationed in their gewog. We also monitor through the social media and ask people not to come out from their homes.”

Punakha Dzongdag, Karma Drukpa, said that everything is in place to tackle the pandemic. Punakha has a surveillance team carrying out testing and those who are the contacts are being placed under quarantine or home isolation.

“As of now, we don’t have a new case except for the first two. We are contact tracing and also identifying the risky areas. And regarding the essential delivery, we have activated the zoning system and the identified shops are opened for vegetables and groceries,” he said.

Wangdue Phodrang Dzongdag Sonam Jamtsho also said that the dzongkhag is following and carrying out everything like other dzongkhags, as the primary contact of the Thimphu case was detected was in Pelala, and the contact tracing and testing have been completed on Thursday.

“Our health surveillance teams are actively working. The patient was sent to isolation ward in Thimphu. For those who are travelling, we are making them register and use the Druk Trace App. Those stranded are being tested and sent to their destinations after they are declared negative,” he said.

Haa Dzongdag, Kinzang Dorji, said that the case detected in Haa was a school student who returned from Paro and was found to be the primary contact of the Paro case. He was placed under quarantine on 22 December and tested positive for COVID-19.

“The test carried out in the flu clinic so far has shown negative results, and it seems like we do not have community transmission in our dzongkhag. Haa Throm is a risky area for now since the school is in the center of the town, so currently we have suspended the zone cards in Haa town. There will be no movement till we are done with the contact tracing and testing,” he said.

He added that he met with all the parents of the students who are primary contacts of the case and they have been told not to pull out their children from the school since it is not their fault.

“I told the parents not to panic and the dzongkhag is there to support them. They should stay at home till the tests are carried out. Our front liners are in the fields and working actively for now,” he said.

Dagana Dzongkhag media focal, Sonam Jamtsho, said that the dzongkhag has just one case in Lhamozingkha and the patient was sent to Phuentsholing.

He said that the health workers are in the field and testing those who have come from Thimphu.  According to him, they have learnt a lot of lessons during the first lockdown. There is no home delivery of essential food items and groceries, but the people are allowed to move within their zones for essential shopping.

“Only those shops who supply essentials are being allowed to open, and also we have made a routine. So far, we are going smoothly,” he said.

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