Chimi Dema | Tsirang

Adhering to the government’s notification on additional measures to prevent the local transmission of Covid-19 in the country, Tsirang dzongkhag administration and police have enforced mandatory use of face masks for vendors and customers at the weekend vegetable market in Damphu.

Following a three-day multi-stakeholder meeting last week, a team comprising police, dzongkhag health and municipal officials, DeSuup and Bhutan Red Cross Society members visited all the shops and financial institutions in the town to create awareness on the safety measures.

Other mandatory measures like using Druktrace App, marking floors to maintain physical distancing and installing hand-washing facilities were also strictly implemented in the town since July 1.

While most of the shops and offices in the town premises have all safety measures in place, officials said that people do not use them.

The initiative came after concerns that the easing of some of the restrictions by the government might make people complacent.

A senior dzongkhag health officer, Lobzang Tshering, said that although the town residents ensured all precautionary measures, the people were relaxed due to the prolonged pandemic. “We, therefore, reminded them to re-take all the safety measures and also informed them that it was mandatory to use face masks and Druktrace App.”

The officials said that the individual’s role in combating the pandemic was decreasing with time. “It is difficult to control people coming from other dzongkhags.  The outsiders were reluctant to comply with the precautionary measures,” one said.

The team has also sensitised bus and taxi drivers to follow proper safety measures.

Besides other safety measures at the weekend vegetable market, customer markers to represent one direction path were also introduced since last month to encourage social distancing among visitors.