Virus somehow leaked out from Rurichu quarantine: TAG member

With major need for foreign laborers at Punatsangchu, the private contractors there had put up a proposal stating that they wish to import their own foreign workers and manage their own quarantine. 

With all the approvals, the National COVID-19 Task Force (NC19TF) and the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) visited the quarantine site and saw the place to be quite isolated and thereby they approved it for Jaiprakash Associates.

An official from TAG shared that after the approval; two batches of foreign laborer successfully completed the quarantine and were brought in through Phuentsholing while one batch was brought in successfully through Gelephu.

After the third batch, he shared that with things not going wrong they felt they did not have to do the antigen testing.

He said, “There have been several issues on the testing of foreign workers and on the point of entry. When we tested those batches that were brought in through Phuentsholing, there were no issues as there were no positive cases.”

However, he said that the batch which was brought in through Gelephu was segregated as vaccinated and unvaccinated whereby those vaccinated were brought to Rurichu while those who were unvaccinated were kept at Gelephu for a risk assessment.

“Unfortunately, coinciding with the large surge of COVID-19 in India and omicron being highly infectious, the virus somehow got leaked out,” he added.

Just over 100 people were put under one quarantine facility and they were shedding virus in the bed at a same time, the viral load was so heavy that it happened to leak out which was unfortunate, he said.

“Our local outbreaks have always been associated with the outbreak in India, and it so happened with the omicron variant as well. The antigen testing is not really as sensitive as RT-PCR testing whereby in few cases it fails to detect the correct result at the first stage of the disease,” he added.

Meanwhile, Lyonchhen Dasho (Dr) Lotay Tshering said that the quarantine facility in Rurichu is a newly constructed quarantine facility approved by NC19TF and the TAG after visit by the team. It is quite far away from the normal construction of the dam site.

However, he said, “There was some breach in the barrier as some of the positive cases came out to be from outside the quarantine facility. We are not even trying to justify that.”

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One comment

  1. If we carry out a mass screening in PHPA-1 and PHPA-2 areas including the campsites and residential colonies, there may be possibility of detecting more cases.

    What is stopping the mass screening in PHPA project sites?

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