No need to test people moving from low risk to high risk areas: PM

With an increase in number of COVID-19 (Omicron variant) cases in few districts in the country, the strategy to deal with the situation and the way forward to contain the virus is same everywhere.

Phuentsholing is always short of quarantine beds due to both incoming domestic and international travelers. However, as of today with minimal incoming and with temporary closure of import of foreign laborers, the quarantine beds are available in more numbers.

Lyonchhen Dasho (Dr) Lotay Tshering in a press conference said that the condition of the patients and the number of cases in the country is same all over, and they do not have any positive cases that are in need of medical attention.

He said the way forward in Phuentsholing and elsewhere in other districts are same and they are really on elimination mode which is why Phuentsholing is put under lockdown.

“Nevertheless, compared to other places, Phuentsholing will keep getting cases very frequently because of its source. The source of infection is across the border in Phuentsholing and southern bordering places whereby we do not have control over it,” he added.

Lyonchhen said the source in Wangduephodrang is controllable as their source of infection is from the foreign workers’ camp. When it comes to cases in Thimphu, Lyonchhen said that so far the cases are traceable and controllable as it was related to positive cases at Punatsangchu project.

He said, “The moment we clear up Thimphu we go on to have a very high level of surveillance and we will wait and prolong the need for the next lockdown. That way, the way forward would be same elsewhere.”

He said no travelers from lower risk to higher risk have taken the disease, and also no travelers from higher risk to lower risk will travel without any strong reasons, especially after staying in quarantine for seven days.

Therefore, he said that they did not find the need of strategy to test people traveling from lower risk to higher risk. Every antigen test costs around 6 dollars per test and RT-PCR costs around 10 dollars per test, he said.

Wangduephodrang is placed under a high risk zone now and people wanting to travel out for urgent reasons have to undergo a 7-day quarantine.

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