These are difficult times. Countries around the world are being ravaged by the scourge that is Covid-19. The speed with which the disease is spreading is staggering. It is also deeply worrying. While some countries are taking effective and encouraging measures, many are failing.

Bhutan has so far had only four Covid-19 positive cases—all imported. More than 3,500 individuals are being quarantined at homes and in the country’s many facility quarantine centres. Early border lockdown and increased movement restriction was a sensible move. We could have done worse.

The threat remains, however. Treatment and vaccines are as yet out of humanity’s reach. So, much will depend on the success of the neighbouring countries and the world at large if we are to keep our people safe from the disease. That’s why the government has been giving top priority to quarantine.

It has to be acknowledged that our success has been due largely to extraordinary compliance from the general public. We have not had to resort to brutal measures to disperse crowds and limit the movement of people. Because quarantine regulations have been found to be effective in preventing the disease from spreading, the government last week decided to increase quarantine period from 14 to 21 days.

Because there is still a need to educate our people on the importance of quarantine, individuals who have themselves completed quarantine are coming forward to tell their stories. This is heartwarming and deeply reassuring. In these dark and testing times, we also would like to hear some bright and positive stories.

When the entire country is gripped by fear of uncertainty, so to speak, conflicting views are to be expected but there is nothing wrong or insensitive about media bringing such stories of hope and opportunity to the people. The real message or the lesson people coming out of quarantine are bringing is that quarantine does not mean one has contracted the disease. In fact, quarantine has helped many countries reduce deaths due to the disease increased recovery rate.

As Kuensel went to press, the total number of Covid-19 positive cases worldwide was 885,221. The disease had claimed 44212 lives. What is encouraging is that the number of recovered cases has hit 185,208 and it is increasing.