Entry of expatriates without testing questioned

The government imported more than 100 expatriates through Gelephu for the Punatsangchhu II Hydroelectric Project about a month ago. But these workers were not tested for COVID and were brought straight to the project site in Wangdue Phodrang to be kept under quarantine. Antigen tests for foreign workers are not conducted in entry points due to the inaccuracy of the tests. But people across the country are now blaming this as the cause of the recent outbreak from Wangdue.

Bringing foreign workers straight into the country without testing them is what led to the outbreak. This is what most people are suspecting. This has also become a topic of hot discussion on social media.

The workers for the project entered the country in three batches, all coming through the Gelephu entry point. The first batch came on December 30, the second batch on the next day and the third batch a few days later in January.

Meanwhile, the Technical Advisory Group said the antigen tests for the workers were not conducted due to bilateral issues and issues related to the inaccuracy of the antigen tests.

“Many said antigen test was not done. Testing of foreign workers at the point of entry, we have had several issues with the foreign ministry involved. We can’t send back foreign workers who are tested positive once they have entered our borders,” said Dr Tshokey, a member of the Technical Advisory Group.

Initially, more than 70 positive cases were detected from the PHPA II quarantine facility. As per an official in PHPA II, there are 112 positive cases today.

Samten Dolkar

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