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Bhutan lifts lockdown

Bhutan lifts lockdown
June 16
15:48 2021

KOLKATA: Bhutan has lifted its lockdown at capital Thimphu after a boy tested for Covid infection reported negative along with possible contacts.

Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering was quoted by local media as saying: “The lockdown in Thimphu is being lifted with immediate effect, upon ruling out all possibilities of Covid-19 disease presence in the capital for now.”

A 72-hour lockdown was imposed in Thimphu on June 12 after the eight-year-old boy of the Druk School had tested positive via Rapid Antigen Test.

However, the confirmatory RT-PCR test results on the boy produced negative results on Monday. Test results on his family members and all the possible contacts of the boy also returned negative, paving the way for lifting of the lockdown in Thimphu.

“The confirmatory test of the eight-year-old suspect came out negative this afternoon. All close contacts and related 2,029 samples collected from the community also tested negative so far,” Tshering, himself a doctor, said.

“The lockdown was imposed to prevent potential spread of Covid . We were taking no chances,” he added. Tshering further said: “It is critical that we maintain highest response standards, and do not compromise on all fronts, especially where it concerns our children.”

Bhutan is South Asia’s and the world’s one of the few success stories in prevention since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic. While giant neighbours India and China, one the world’s now worst hit and the other the origin of the C-virus, has been ravaged by the pandemic, Bhutan has so far reported only one death.

On January 7, a 34-year-old man, admitted to a hospital in Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu, with preexisting liver and kidney problems, died of Covid-19. His was the country’s first and only death from the C-virus.

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