Health Minister Dechen Wangmo updated the nation of Bhutan’s Covid-19 status yesterday. There were some important messages for the nation. Overall, however, there is no significant threat or cause for concern.
The country has so far recorded more than 1,500 Covid-19 positive cases. More could be detected in the coming days but we must also know that we have quarantine facilities that could accommodate just about 8,000. We are already overburdened in terms of managing the positive cases.
In this light, it is important to recognise some of our flaws and shortfalls. As the minister said: “The time has come to understand that we are, each individually, a risk to the society.”
“Unnecessary travel” is becoming one of the major problems facing protocol issues. Facilitating the stranded people is becoming a needless burden. But this should not be a problem. There should be records of people moving around.
Those who are in breach of the protocols must be dealt with the law—service seekers and providers both.
Good news is that from today mass testing will continue. Health Minister urged the nation to come forward to test. There are, according to Lyonpo, more than 2,000 eligible people in Thimphu who have not as yet come for tests and vaccination.
In this regard, people who are more mobile and are prone to infection should avail the test first tomorrow. There must be reasons for not availing of the test but the reason must be made clear. We cannot afford to be a risk unto oneself and others in the community.
As we fight this fast-spreading virus and dangerous variant of virus, there is not much revolutionary that we can do because science is yet to figure out the nature of the virus and its dangerous evolutions. What we can do is protect ourselves with basic health and safety measures.
Don’t travel unnecessarily. Wear your face mask; wash your hands, and maintain physical distance. Comply with the standing health and safety protocols. These alone are by far the most efficacious methods to keep the virus at bay.
As to the question of whether the lockdown could further extend or not, it all depends on how we, each individually, act to keep ourselves and our communities safe.