Yangchen C Rinzin

A year has gone by since Bhutan saw its first Covid-19 case, on March 5 2020. Many describe 2020 as a rough year. The world had to fight the pandemic, hard. The battle continues.

The country’s economy was hit hard; businesses were affected; many people lost jobs; the country’s unemployment situation worsened. We are yet to understand the full impact of the pandemic.

Despite all the difficulties the pandemic brought, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said that 2020 was a year of opportunity for Bhutanese—we stood face-to-face with our strengths and weaknesses.

Lyonchhen said that the pandemic has shown that Bhutan has an excellent, resilient system to overcome any challenge.

“His Majesty has always said that throughout His reign, He will never rule as a King, but protect us as a parent, care us as a brother, and serve the nation as a son,” Lyonchhen said. “We saw it all during this pandemic.”

Lyonchhen said that leadership matters and that the people of Bhutan saw that in the image of His Majesty The King. “We always had unconditional confidence in the leadership, this time, we saw and felt it.”

By March 5, Bhutan had its last Covid-19 positive case—exactly one year after we had the first Covid-19 case. Bhutan has recorded 868 positive Covid-19 cases since March 5, 2020.

Today, Bhutan has only one active case. The lone active case was detected on March 6. Bhutan’s recovery rate is 99.78. The country also saw only two nationwide lockdowns.

“Our King has always reminded us that if we stay united and fight against any enemy, nothing can defeat us. This pandemic was a terrible enemy that knocked down some of the biggest country’s economies, but we stood strong by and fought on,” Lyonchhen said.

He said that unity was witnessed best when the government announced a nationwide lockdown—people followed the lockdown protocols.

“Norzin Lam is a busy street with many people residing in the area, yet when there was no single person out during the lockdown,” Lyonchhen said. “This indicates that people our people and the government are thinking and acting along the same lines. Together, we can fight any bigger enemies than the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Lyonchhen said that we had to face its share of troubles and challenges, but together Bhutan can achieve a lot.”