His Majesty the King continues to encourage the Bhutanese amidst lockdowns
His Majesty the King spent his 42nd birthday touring the region that's most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
His Majesty began the Royal Tour on January 23 and has thus far visited Punakha, Wangduephdrang, Tsirang, Sarpang, Gelephu, Samdrup Jongkhar, Jomotshangkha, Samdrupcholing, and Nganglam. His Majesty is accompanied by Prime Minister Dasho Dr Lotay Tshering for the tour.
On February 21 — the King's birthday — His Majesty visited Phuentsoling, a district that had around 600 positive cases within the last one month.
During the tour, His Majesty met with all the dzongkhag, drungkhag and regional COVID-19 task force teams, as well as Desuups and other frontline workers.
Prime Minister shared that in all of His Majesty's meetings with the people, His Majesty emphasised that the most important thing is to protect the lives of the people.
His Majesty is well aware of the inconveniences, struggles and difficulties faced by the people.
Photo: PMO Bhutan. His Majesty with the De-suups working at the lockdown helpline call centre in Gelephu.
“For those facing difficulties, the Royal Kidu is available which has been given to 52,000 people till date through monthly payments of Nu 12,000, Nu 10,000, Nu 8,000 and Nu 7,000. Around 7,000 children are getting monthly instalments of Nu 800 each. For those who cannot buy goods during lockdown the Kidu buys them goods and reaches it to their doorstep,” said the PM.
In order to reduce transmissions and to protect against severe infections, it is important to get vaccinated. His Majesty is not only concerned about people with comorbidities but also the senior citizens and children under 12 who are not vaccinated.
“If we lose even one child to the virus then His Majesty will be very disappointed. His Majesty had commanded us to get the vaccines for children at whatever the efforts or the resources. The Health Ministry and Foreign Ministry have been on the task and we are getting the vaccines in by 28 February,” said the PM.
The vaccines for ages 5 to 11 will reach Bhutan by February 28, 2022. The first dose will be administered within 10 days and the second dose will be given by April 5 or 6. About one week after the second dose, the schools will reopen in mid-April when the children's immune system is fully activated. The schools were originally supposed to reopen on March 1.
“Once the virus becomes endemic as and when declared by WHO, then we can open up all restrictions and not have lockdowns, and His Majesty said that the economy will recover quickly at that time,” said the PM.
14 districts underwent lockdown on January 16. Though restrictions have been eased in some districts, lockdowns remain in place in certain parts of the country.
Photo: PMO Bhutan. His Majesty’s visit to the Gelephu Hospital. Throughout the tour, His Majesty thanked frontline workers, who have been working ceaselessly to serve the people during the lockdowns, while at a greater risk of exposure to the virus.
King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck has been at the forefront ever since Bhutan had the first imported COVID-19 positive case. The King has been tirelessly walking the ground to protect the lives of the Bhutanese.
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