The Health Minister was very clear in her press conference on Friday stating a few irrefutable points.
She said that the Jomotsangkha case was exposed to the virus and hence had it. She said that the proof of this was in the fact that he tested positive for IgM antibodies which develops in the early stages to fight the COVID-19 virus.
On being asked if the antibody could be confused for another virus or another Coronavirus she asserted in her explanation that it was specific to the Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19.
The minister said that the person is either in an early stage of infection or would become infectious later.
She even explained that his negative test on the RT-PCR test only indicates that absence of the virus from the throat or nose but the IgM testing positive shows exposure to the virus. She said that if he becomes infectious then he may test positive in the RT-PCR too.
The minister even said that with no history of travel the person may have got the virus from the community, which is why Jomotsangkha was locked down.
What could possibly go wrong after such clear statements by the Health Minister on national television ?
The minister’s statement also carried the grave implication that Jomotsangkha is probably Bhutan’s first local or even community transmission case
However, in almost a repeat of the vegetable ban episode, denials started flowing in thick and fast an hour after the press meet.
The denial did not come from the Health Minister herself at first, but from two senior cabinet colleagues who were not happy with the minister’s statements even though she is the expert in the field.
The MoH live video where the minister made the statements was mysteriously pulled down from the MoH Facebook page.
The minister herself tried to back track on a few technicalities, but the video and audio evidence as to what she said is overwhelming.
The MoH after that put out a statement saying the RT-PCR test came out negative for a third time and so the Jomotsangkha lockdown would be opened.
This is when it was never about the RT-PCR test but the IgM test where he tested positive six times showing a virus history. It is also in the face of possible local transmission.
The people are smart enough to draw their own conclusions.
“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”