Bhutan detects 2nd confirmed COVID-19 case

The 59-year-old partner of the first Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) patient in the country has tested positive this morning. While three tests of the partner in quarantine tested negative, the fourth test came out positive today.

Meanwhile, the guide and the driver of the COVID-19 patient tested negative. However, with the detection of the second COVID-19 case in the partner, two of them will remain quarantined although their quarantine period ended today.

The partner, guide and driver are the three primary contacts of the first COVID-19 patient. They have been quarantined right after the detection of the first case on 5th of this month.

The Prime Minister, during a press brief today, said the second confirmed case doesn’t change the government’s policy to combat the virus as everything has been done according to the National Preparedness and Response Plan for COVID-19.

“When she tested positive today, there is no need of any new policies. Everything has been mentioned clearly in the SOP. She has been quarantined right after the detection of the first case and that’s why nothing new is necessary. We will keep her in isolation and treat her accordingly. There is no vaccine or medicine to kill the virus so it is only about how we go forward with her treatment,” said Dr Lotay Tshering, the Prime Minister.

When asked about the certainty of the tests, Prime Minister said the second case was detected only during the fourth test and not because of technical lapses and health workers.

“That is the nature of the test. No test is 100 per cent specific. But this test is highly sensitive. When we say sensitive, it means that if the test result is positive, it is truly positive. When we say the test is not 100 per cent specific, it means that we cannot say it is truly negative when the test shows negative. This is an international fact,” Lyonchhen added.

The Prime Minister said people need not worry as those associated with the two patients are already in quarantine. Prime Minister added risk of spread of COVID-19 is not from the two patients but from Bhutanese returning to the country.

Meanwhile, the country will still remain in the ‘Orange Zone’.

Kinley Dem

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