Bhutan records no domestic Covid cases in last four days

Bhutan recorded zero Covid-19 cases from the community in the last four days--the first time since April after the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 hit the country, giving hope to the country for full unlocking

Aug 11, 2021
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Bhutan records no domestic Covid cases

Bhutan recorded zero Covid-19 cases from the community in the last four days--the first time since April after the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 hit the country, giving hope to the country for full unlocking. The country has become the world’s first country to achieve herd immunity as over 90 percent of the eligible population are fully vaccinated.

Phuentsholing, the largest town in southern Bhutan bordering India, had been locked for months after the spread of the Delta variant. Despite the very low number of cases, the government introduced strict restrictions, quarantine measures--even for traveling within the country--to contain the virus. 

The town is not being opened fully after months of restrictions. In the last four days, only two cases were detected among the foreigners who were in quarantine centers. No case of community transmission has been recorded.

Experts say this could be the beginning of the end of the long outbreak of Covid-19 in Phuentsholing.

Effective timely measures based on science, almost zero laxity, and excellent public cooperation have been the reasons why Bhutan managed the biggest crisis of the century so well. The clusterization of hotspot areas, and subsequent mass testing there, helped authorities to contain the virus. 

Phuentsholing recorded over 600 positive cases in the current outbreak of which 188 were from the community. Samtse, another southern Bhutanese town bordering India, also reported 430 plus positive cases of this outbreak including 65 from the community.

Dr. Tshokey, a member of the country’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG), said that high-risk populations in the red clusters in Phuentsholing were tested between August 8 and 9, and that there were no positive cases detected.

“This is a very good sign. It seems like this is the beginning of the end of the current outbreak,” He was quoted as saying by Kuensel.

Although there were no cases detected from the community for 72 straight hours, he advised people not to become complacent and forget the threats associated with Covid-19. “Globally, there are already indications of a third wave of the pandemic where both the number of new infections and deaths are on the rise,” he said. 

(SAM)