Bhutan announces first nationwide lockdown to curb COVID-19

New Delhi (NVI): The Bhutan government has announced a nationwide lockdown starting from today, following the report of a COVID-19 positive case in Gelephu town.

The lockdown was imposed after a 27-year-old Bhutanese woman, who returned from Kuwait and was discharged after testing negative, tested positive at a clinic yesterday.

The female patient had come in contact with many people in Thimphu and other major districts of Gelephu, Paro, etc., in the last couple of days.

In the past 24 hours, the health authorities managed to trace 71 contacts who came in close contact with the patient.

Taking to twitter, Prime Minister Lotay Tshering said, “Following report of a COVID-19 positive case in Gelephu, who has come in close contact with people in Thimphu, Gelephu and those along the way, the government announces national lockdown starting today.”

However, the government has imposed restrictions on movement of people and vehicles within the Dzongkhags (districts) and beyond.

The government also requested everyone to strictly follow essential information, as nationwide lockdown aims to identify and isolate all positive cases and breaking the chain of transmission.

All schools, institutions, offices and commercial establishments will remain closed during this period.

Apart from this, the government urged people not to panic, as food supplies will be available at their doorsteps, adding that, the lockdown is expected to last between five days to a maximum of three weeks.

So far, Bhutan has recorded a total of 113 positive coronavirus cases.

-RJV