First COVID lockdown in Bhutan

Bhutan has for the first time imposed nationwide lockdown to curb the surge of COVID19 following a detection of a case.

The 25-year old woman had returned recently from Kuwait and tested negative in quarantine but was tested positive later in Gelephu. The government is tracking down all her contacts in an attempt to break the local transmission – Paro, Thimphu, Phuentsholing and Gelephu.

The country has so far reported 133 cases with no deaths. Of them 31 are currently active.

“With cases reported outside the quarantine facilities, there is now a heightened risk of exposure to COVID-19. Everyone is requested to Stay at Home. Under unavoidable circumstances, when you need to leave the house to dispose waste or collect deliveries of essential supplies, please make sure to wear a mask, maintain physical distance and wash your hands immediately upon returning home. It’s “Our Gyenkhu” to protect ourselves and our communities from COVID-19,” the Health Ministry said in a notice.

“A 34-year-old woman and a 4-year-old girl who are the primary contacts of the first positive case from RRCO, Phuentsholing (25-year-old man) are found to be COVID-19 positive. The child is the daughter of the 32-year-old woman who tested positive yesterday. They are in the quarantine facility at Phuentsholing. 2 people are being declared recovered,” the notice said.

Phuentsholing has been under ‘red zone’ following the break with all government efforts concentrated here.

Following the imposition of lockdown, trade across the India- Bhutan border through Jaigaon in West Bengal’s Alipurduar district was suspended. Phuentsholing-Jaigaon is the major trading route for Bhutan India trade.

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