Second Lockdown in Bhutan - Is it going to get worse?
Earlier this morning at the first hour, the Office of Prime Minister announced on the social media page that the Thimphu Thromde will be under lockdown with immediate effect.
Since this morning, all the residents are requested to stay at home. All offices, institutions, and business entities are notified to remain closed until further notice. While all outbound travelers will be stopped, only emergencies and essential incoming movements into Thimphu are allowed.
It was reconfirmed earlier today that a 25-year-old female, who visited the flu clinic at JDWNRH with symptoms, tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday. Currently, the Health Ministry is conducting intensive contact tracing. The lockdown of the Thimphu Thromde will enable health officials to trace and test all possible contacts. A primary contact had also travelled to Trongsa with multiple stops on the way. While all contacts have been identified, the government is urging people in Hongtsho, Thinleygang,Wangduephodrang, Phobjokha, Pelela, and Trongsa to stay vigilant and to refrain from moving out of their homes.
Depending on the degree of transmission, relaxations will be initiated over the coming days. Through the usage of multiple social media platforms, the Prime Minister Office and Health Ministry are keeping residents informed of critical developments and to maintain public health protocols, and stay indoor. As the number of contacts increases by the hour, the surveillance teams are carrying out intensive tracing and testing related to the 25-year-old COVID-19 positive case at the moment.
Meanwhile, the public is circulating information that the primary contacts within the family have tested positive. The health officials and frontlines are engaged in verifying and managing the cases at the moment. Prime Minister will be addressing the nation on National Television Channel through a press conference later in the evening at 7pm (BST).
Unlike the first national lockdown, the second lockdown is taking place only in the capital city and part of Trongsa. The government however, is urging every citizen to maintain as much caution even though currently the lockdown is only in Thimphu and part of Trongsa. During these critical times, the front liners seek the support and cooperation of each other to see through the phase safely and securely.
No delivery service for next 72 Hour
Since this second lockdown is a complete lockdown, currently there is no delivery of essentials although the toll-free line 1010 has been activated to answer people's queries. Depending on the surveillance outcome, the easing of the zones and essential supplies will be carried out in the coming days.
Meanwhile, hundreds of front liners have volunteered to guard the respective zones in Thimphu. With this second lockdown, many things are put in place. Thimphu residents are less panic although some people turned up at the Centenary Farmers Market to purchase vegetables and other essential goods prior to the announcement of the lockdown.
The Bodhissattva King
Howeve, at the end of the day, amidst the stressful situation, the good news broke that, under the Royal Command, shelters have been set up for those who may be unable to stay inside their homes during the lockdown as the result of domestic violence. The residences are asked to contact front liners to render help to those who are victims of domestic violence. Such is the King of Bhutan. The king with compassion, love, and sympathy for His People.