The results of the mass screening will help to decide whether to reopen the town from the current lockdown
The results from the third mass screening in Phuentsholing, which began on June 10 and scheduled for completion on June 18, would decide whether to lift the third lockdown in the border town.
In the previous two mass screenings, only one individual from a household was tested. However, in the third mass screening, all individuals who are above the age of five will be tested.
The third mass screening began on Thursday and Friday for Mega Zone 3, which includes Pasakha and Ahlay-Pekarzhing areas.
For Mega Zone 1, Amochu-Chamkuna, Dhamdara-Kabraytar and Core 2 areas will be tested from June 12-15.
On June 16-18, Mega Zone 2 which includes Core 1, Core 3, Core 4 and Rinchending zone will be tested.
However, the residents living in identified red buildings and children under five years of age will not be tested.
While the third mass screening began, the three mega zones had to bear with some new rules during the mass screening. The zones which fall under mass screening in the respective time period were under complete lockdown and all the imports and exports were suspended.
Similarly, home deliveries of essential items were suspended during the mass screening time period in the respective mega zones. Transportation via Sorchen switching station was also suspended.
Further, during the mass screening, the Mini Dry Port (MDP) and truck parking which falls under Mega Zone 2 will be closed during June 16-18. The Ahlay Land Customs Station was closed during the mass screening on June 10-11, which falls under Mega Zone 3.
The Southern Covid-19 Taskforce has made it clear that the decision to relax the lockdown shall be based on the results of the mass testing in the respective Mega-Zones. If cases are detected from more than one in Mega Zone, based on the assessment of the nature of cases, a complete lockdown for two weeks will be implemented across Phuentsholing.
During the day of the mass testing, operation of agencies or the companies which are approved to function in self-containment mode were allowed. Imports and transportation of Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants (POL) products were allowed.
Moreover, individuals who have completed quarantine facility were allowed to travel and services like ensuring uninterrupted drinking water supply and electricity were also allowed.
Meanwhile, residents in Phuentsholing are eagerly waiting for the results of the tests which could decide the reopening of the town, which has been in a lockdown for nearly two months now.
A town resident, Sonam Dorji said to reopen the lockdown everyone should come forward and not skip the test. “Looking at the positive cases, I think people were hiding instead of coming out for mass testing in the two previous screenings.”
“Hopefully, everyone will come out this time for the mass screening,” he added.
Another resident, Tashi Dorji said, “Me and my family have done testing on Thursday and hopefully every resident of Phuentsholing will come forward as well.”
He said it is in the hand of the residents as well to see the fate of the town reopening from the current lockdown.
Sonam Tashi from Phuentsholing