Dechen Dolkar

The country recorded a record number of 1,032 positive cases including 670 community cases prompting people to question if the lockdown was preventing the spread of the virus.

However, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering at a press conference that was broadcast live on Facebook yesterday said that the objective of the current lockdown and previous lockdowns were not the same.

“The earlier lockdown was to eliminate the virus from the community and to isolate all the positive cases from the community for which strict lockdowns were imposed,” Lyonchhen said.

The current lockdown, he said, was not to eliminate the virus but to limit the rate of infection so that hospitals are not crowded and deaths prevented. “For now, it is very difficult to eliminate the virus,” Lyonchhen said.

Lyonchhen said that the current lockdown was imposed to conduct the board exam swiftly without a surge in positive cases.

In Thimphu thromde alone,  about 3,400 students appeared for the board exam. 

Phuentsholing is now in the fourth phase of unlocking with offices open even though there are community cases. It has been more than a month with relaxation in the town and during this period, even if more positive cases were detected, there are only a few people who need hospitalisation.

Lyonchhen also said that going forward, the yardstick to assess the severity of the pandemic situation in the country will be the rate of hospitalisation.

“There is no need to worry even if there is an increase in the number of cases in the community hereafter. Lockdowns would be implemented only if the hospitals are overwhelmed with positive cases,” Lyonchhen said.