US tourist, who visited Assam, tests positive for coronavirus in Bhutan

The tiny, landlocked country, famous for measuring Gross National Happiness has emerged as a popular tourist destination in recent years.

Published: 06th March 2020 10:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th March 2020 07:59 PM   |  A+A-

South Korean soldiers wearing protective gears spray disinfectant as a precaution against the new coronavirus on a street in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, March 6, 2020. (Photo | AP)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: A tourist from the United States, who visited places in Assam and elsewhere in India recently, tested positive for coronavirus in Bhutan.

The Bhutan government confirmed it on Friday. The Prime Minister’s Office in Thimphu said the 76-year-old, accompanied by his 59-year-old partner, had arrived in the country in a Drukair flight from Guwahati on March 2. All eight other passengers of the flight were Indians.

The septuagenarian, who left the US on February 18, was in India from February 21 to March 1.

During screening at the Paro International Airport in Bhutan, he showed no signs of infection. However, at 3 pm that day, he visited a hospital and complained of a bloated abdomen and nausea. He visited the hospital again the next day with an upset stomach and diarrhoea, a statement issued by the Bhutan government said.

On March 4, the man left for Punakha and following his return the next day, he visited the hospital yet again, complaining of fever, sore throat, cough and shortness of breath. He tested positive for Covid-19 at an observation centre.

His case has triggered an alarm in Assam as he and his partner had gone on a seven-day river cruise on the Brahmaputra and stayed at a resort in Kaziranga National Park.

Assam’s Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the government was trying to trace the places the couple visited and also people that they had come in touch with.
Authorities at the Lokopriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati said the airport’s health officials were trying to identify the people who had boarded the flight to Paro that day.

Passengers landing in Guwahati have been subjected to screening for the past two months. A couple of suspected cases were earlier referred to the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital.


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