Bhutan imposes 7-day nationwide lockdown amid spike in Covid-19 cases

at 11:37 am
Bhutan imposes 7-day nationwide lockdown amid spike in Covid-19 cases
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New Delhi (NVI): The government of Bhutan has announced a nationwide lockdown for seven days starting from today, after rising cases of coronavirus in the Himalayan Kingdom.

In a official statement, Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering announced that a nationwide lockdown will be enforced for seven days, starting December 23, which will enable the government to control the spread of the disease and also discern the extent of transmission in the communities.

“In continuation to the inter-district movement restriction imposed on Tuesday morning, the national COVID-19 taskforce decided the need for a more stringent action after detection of sporadic cases in flu clinics in Thimphu and Paro and also in Lhamoizingkha, which is evident of local transmission,” Prime Minister’s Office Bhutan said in a statement.

All dzongdas and thrompons have been requested to take charge, activate and ensure the smooth implementation of the zone system. It is left to the districts to decide the time for the activation of the zone system. All other support and actions required will be carried out in close consultation with the national taskforce and the zoning team, it added.

During this period, only designated shops within the zones and essential services will be available, all schools, institutions, offices and business establishments should remain closed.

Likewise, movement of individuals with the card within the zones and delivery of essentials will start in Thimphu from today, as it completes the third day of lockdown. However, zone relaxation will not apply to houses under isolation, the statement noted.

Furthermore, the PMO assured that relevant agencies will ensure that there are no disruptions in the supply of goods, vegetables and other essential items, including animal feed, within the country.

It added that the Bhutan government will also facilitate and ensure minimum disruption in the import and export of all goods.

“While we have decided on the seven-day lockdown to begin with, the pattern of disease transmission will determine the way forward. This time, we have an obvious indication of rampant local transmission and urge people to take maximum precaution,” the PMO Bhutan said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health Bhutan in its bulletin said, the total number of coronavirus cases stood at 479 out of which 430 have recovered, while Bhutan is yet to record a COVID-related death.