Bhutan Does Not have Local Transmission Cases Of COVID-19: Bhutanese PM

Bhutan Does Not have Local Transmission Cases Of COVID-19: Bhutanese PM

Aug. 14, 2020, 7:33 a.m.

Bhutanese Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering maintained that technically Bhutan still does not have local transmission of Covid-19 as of yesterday reports Kuenselonline.Link

He said that the lockdown, for now, has no specific duration and would depend on the situation. He said that if all the contacts test negative and the contacts are traced in time, there would be no reason to extend the lockdown.

Along with the 25-year-old man, a managed 59 and a 47-year-old woman tested positive to the virus while in the quarantine in Phuentsholing yesterday.

As of yesterday, there were 116 confirmed cases in the country of which 97 had recovered. A total of 19 active cases are in isolation.

The 27-year-old woman who tested positive to the virus outside the quarantine in Gelephu is asymptomatic and in stable condition. The 25-year-old man in Phuentsholing has fever but is also in a stable condition.

Speculations of local transmission grew following the confirmation of a positive case outside the quarantine facility in Phuentsholing on August 11.

A 25-year-old Bhutanese man working at the mini dry port (MDP) in Phuentsholing tested positive to the virus after he visited the hospital with symptoms. The man works as a loader with the Regional Revenue and Customs Office (RRCO).

With no further information as of late evening yesterday, the man was assumed to be working in the community openly, raising questions of local transmission of the virus.

However, Prime Minister during a press brief yesterday evening clarified that the man including about 140 workers of the MDP and RRCO were lodged in a quarantine-like hostel in one of the schools to ensure that any potential spread of infection was prevented.

Considering the risks of infection to the workers at the MDP and RRCO and the possibility of them spreading the infection in the community, the task force in Phuentsholing had placed the workers in hostels since the beginning.

He said that as per the guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the case could not be considered as a local transmission. “Understanding the risk those people had, we had contained their movement and limited their interaction. Because they were treated as a contained cohort, we still consider this as an imported case.”

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