BREAKING! Bhutan COVID-19 News: Bhutan Goes Into Lockdown For The First Time In Its History
Bhutan COVID-19 News
: The remote scenic and tranquil kingdom of Bhutan Bhutan famous for its gross national happiness went into a COVID-19 Lockdown today, marking the first time in its long history that the country has ever gone into a lockdown of such a scale.
Although the Himalayan kingdom has been largely protected from the COVID-19 crisis, a set of events is now worrying officials that a major cluster might appear anytime soon as a possible potential super spreader was identified.
The remote country with a population of about 800,000 people situated between India and China has recorded just 113 novel coronavirus cases and is one of the few countries to have no COVID-19 deaths reported so far.
Bhutan’s Prime Minister Lotay Tshering, a doctor who continues to practice part-time on weekends ordered the lockdown early today for a period of five to six days initially.
Only essential services will be allowed to function with all schools, businesses and shops to be closed.
An official statement from the Prime Minister’s office said, "Everyone is asked to stay home to protect themselves from the disease, should there be undetected, rampant transmissions."
The sudden official came after a Bhutanese woman who had returned from Kuwait and released from quarantine after 30 days tested positive around 10 days later.
It was reported that three rapid antibody tests were positive during her time in quarantine, throughout which she was asymptomatic, but six PCR tests were all negative and she was discharged on July 26. (it was not said or confirmed if whether these test kits were made in China though)
However a seventh PCR test came back positive on Monday and since leaving quarantine, the woman was found to have travelled extensively in Bhutan, mixing with family and friends and even shopping.
The prime minister's office said that as of midday, the health ministry had traced more 210 people suspected to have come in contact with the female patient.
The critical lockdown decision was made in a meeting by the virus task force that, according to the prime minister's office, stayed in touch with Bhutan's king "through the night".
Frantic and panic buying was seen after the announcement was made with many people rushed to the shops to buy essential food items like rice, vegetables, eggs, vegetable oil and even tobacco.
Many local also looked worried and were scared. Some that already the global pandemic was affecting their country economically but an actual lockdown in their own backyard was worrisome.
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