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Bhutan imposes lockdown in rural district following suspected community transmission

DIGEST-ENG-02-05-2020-Bhutan

Bhutan government has imposed lockdown of its small rural district of Jomotshangkha in eastern region starting from Friday following suspected case of community transmission.

A shopkeeper in the town of Jomotshangkha has tested positive for COVID-19 on the rapid test kit, when a technical advisory group from the Health Ministry was conducting tests as part of random sampling there, announced the ministry.

The person's samples were sent to National testing centre based in Eastern district of Mongar, following which the final confirmation will be made, said the Health Minister Dechen Wangmo during a press briefing on Friday.

As per the ministry, the person, with no travel history, did not show any symptom. If confirmed positive on Friday night after lab testing, the person, who is currently kept under home quarantine, will be moved to isolation ward in Mongar district or Thimphu city.

Around 60 people have tested in the same town as part of high-risk community surveillance and the results of the tests will be shared with the public on Saturday, according to the ministry.

The ministry has conducted contract tracing of the suspected community transmission case, and around 1,000 people have been instructed to stay indoor till the results of the person is confirmed.

In a meantime, the government urged people to refrain from visiting hospitals if they are not seriously ill. The health minister has recommended people to make use of the appointment system in a bid to avoid crowding in the hospitals.

The minister also said that around three medical teams are carrying out high risk community surveillance in the bordering districts of Jomotshangkha.