Rest of the country outside border areas fairly safe: Health Minister

Health minister Dechen Wangmo stated that going by the surveillance mechanisms and reports, the the Ministry feels confident to say that except for the border areas which have a porous 700 km border area to consider, the rest of the country is fairly safe and comfortable during the pandemic.

Lyonpo stated that the border areas have to still be relied upon for trade and imports as a lifeline for the country’s supplies and those areas are still at high risk considering a single community transmission case may lead to a wide spread in the region.

Lyonpo said that until recently since 3 of the 5 National COVID-19 taskforce members were out of station, (Chaired by Lyonchhen along with the Foreign Minister, the Health Minister, COO of Army and Chief of Police they could not hold a Quora in order to come to a decision about how to move forward with the high-risk area.

However, Lyonpo said that soon they would be able to come to a decision and issue directives and instructions to the National COVID-19 taskforce who will then implement it.

 Lyonpo highlighted that so far, 271 tests had been conducted for the Dantak (marked red zone) in Phuentsholing, out of which there were no new cases detected apart from the one who had tested positive before the testing commenced.

Lyonpo said that technical recommendation has been made by the Ministry of Health to the National taskforce for how a red zone to yellow transition would have to be followed.

The Health Minister said, “Although we can say with fair confidence that the rest of the country has no community transmission, we cannot throw away our public health interventions out of the window.”

She added, “I would like to qualify my statement that because people have adhered to the public health interventions it is contributing to this confidence.”

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