Bhutan: Quarantine for local travelers ends on April 4



Those travelling from high-risk to low risk don’t have to quarantine or get tested from April 4 according to a press release from the Prime Minister’s Office issued yesterday night.

Individuals who have entered home quarantine on or before April 3 will be allowed to travel on the enforcement date according to the press release. “This major shift in policy comes after almost two years.”

The high-risk areas include Thimphu, Wangduephodrang, Dukti chiwog under Yallang gewog, and Jangphutse-Manam villages under Toedtsho gewog in Trashiyangtse, Merak and Sakteng gewogs in Trashigang and all bordering areas in southern Bhutan.

Quarantine period for international travelers has also been reduced to five days from 14 days facility quarantine. The press release stated that the individuals who are already in quarantine and complete five days on April 5 will be allowed to exit based on the revised quarantine protocol.

The PMO announced numerous major relaxation measures including doing away with the red flats. Those who test positive are advised to self-isolate at home and should go to the nearest flu clinic or health facilities or call 1010 in case of severe symptoms.

“All meetings, seminars and training should be conducted virtually,” the press release stated. The testing requirement for essential drivers is discontinued and the entertainment centers will remain closed until further notice.

Escort services for people travelling through India will continue until the international quarantine remains. “But for convenience of our public, frequency of escort services will be increased,” the PMO release stated.

Random testing will be conducted in the communities along the border for the surveillance of new variants. The press release stated that both antigen and RT-PCR tests will be offered in health facilities and designated flu-clinics for individuals who are symptomatic.

The second dose of vaccination for children between 5 and 11 years will begin on April 4.

An 81-year old woman died of Covid-19 today at Gomtu, Samtse. The health ministry stated that the deceased was bedridden due to a previous stroke. “She had cough, fever and shortness of breath when she was brought to the hospital.” The patient was supposed to be referred to Phuentsholing Covid-19 hospital after consulting the regional and National Covid-19 management team. However, the ministry stated, that the patient party declined referral and chose to continue with supportive Covid-19 management at Gomtu.

“Despite the best supportive management and care, the patient succumbed to Covid-19,” the health ministry stated.