Vaccination for P/ling and Gomtu residents only after mass testing

The two weeks lockdown in these two places will end on July 23

Though the second nationwide vaccination will commence from July 20; however, the residents of Phuentsholing and Gomtu will be vaccinated only after the mass testing is complete. 

Currently, Phuentsholing and Gomtu are under complete lockdown for 14 days starting from July 9 and the two weeks lockdown will complete on July 23. 

The NI-TAG member, Dr Sonam Wangchuk, said that as of now the ministry has planned that the vaccination for these two places will be rolled out only after the mass testing is done.

He said that the mass testing is scheduled for three days after the completion of the two weeks lockdown. 

โ€œBased on the mass testing result then we will identify the vaccination points and determine the risk assessment,โ€ he said. 

However, he said that they will have to assess the situation of the place.

 According to him, vaccination may begin from zone to zone with the color coding of red zone, yellow zone and green zone. People in the red zone area will not be vaccinated. The vaccination will be given only to those in the green zone and yellow zone. 

He said that individuals will be called to get the vaccine one by one like sample collection for the COVID-19.

โ€œThe micro plan of vaccination such as how many vaccinators are required and the vaccination posts will be made only after the mass testing in the area. The vaccinators will not come and mix with the vaccinators of the different zones,โ€ he said, adding that all the DeSuups and vaccinators are trained on how to roll out vaccination during a lockdown situation.

 So far Pheuntsholing has detected 164 community positive cases and 334 contact positive cases and Samtse has detected 65 community positive cases and 334 contact positive cases. 

It would require around 72,753 doses of vaccine to vaccinate people in the border areas.   

Meanwhile, the ministry has started dispatching vaccines to other dzongkhags. 

Bhutan has received vaccines from the USA through the COVAX facility โ€“ 500,000 doses of Moderna, Denmark โ€“ 250,000 doses of AstraZeneca, Croatia, Bulgaria and a few other countries. Over 100,000 doses of the AstraZeneca, COVAX facility – 5,850 doses of Pfizer and from Peopleโ€™s Republic of China 50,000 doses of Sinopharm 

The government has also ordered the purchase of 200,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which will arrive towards the end of this year.

Dechen Dolkar from Thimphu