Chhimi Dema

Health minister Dechen Wangmo said that public health behaviour needs to change given the current pandemic situation.

She urged people to maintain cough etiquette while coughing or blowing one’s nose.

Wearing facemasks is new behaviour and people would face difficulty when it is made mandatory, Lyonpo said.  However, using it from now would make it easier for people should there be a local transmission in the coming days she added.

The minister said that the government recommends people to wear masks especially for those who reside in the border areas given the high risk.

“Wearing masks cannot be enforced as there is no local transmission and some people still don’t have access to it. The facemasks produced by the Civil Society Organisations and entrepreneurs can be sent to places without access to masks.”

Lyonpo said that wearing masks is a simple and effective measure to protect individuals, their family and the community.

Meanwhile, cordyceps collectors will have to follow the health ministry’s advisories while collecting the fungi.

Health Minister Dechen Wangmo during a press briefing yesterday said the ministry has made arrangements with the agriculture ministry on the necessary procedures and advisories to follow during the collection.

The agriculture ministry has extended the cordyceps collection season by another two weeks. The collectors are usually given one-month for collection to the highland communities. According to a notification issued by the ministry, late snowfall and unprecedented rainfall following cyclone Amphan have affected the collection.

Lyonpo Dechen Wangmo said that those who left for the collection would not be quarantined since they have not left the country.

A 21-year-old man from Bumthang who went to collect cordyceps died while returning home last month.