Rajesh Rai  | Phuentsholing

Without a proper quarantine facility in place up to now, officials of Dorokha drungkhag in Samtse volunteered to construct one to help community members travelling to low-risk areas.

Officials said it has now been about a month since they started repairing the old unused basic health unit (BHU) infrastructure and converting it into a standard quarantine facility.

Dorokha Drungpa Karma Jurmi said that people have to travel as far as Punakha to avail quarantine services, which is tedious.

“They arrive as late as 12am sometimes,” he said. “It’s all because there were no hotels in Dorokha to convert into quarantine facilities.”

According to the drungpa, the facility available in Dorokha didn’t fulfil quarantine facility standards. “Quarantine facilities must have separate toilets and should have rooms for service providers such as desuups and security personnel.”

The major work includes construction of bathrooms attached to every room, re-wiring of the entire structure, painting, plastering, plumbing, and modification of verandas.

The new facility will have separate toilets and all other basic modern amenities. It will also provide WiFi and TV facilities.

Officials said the new quarantine facility will take another month to complete.

“Once it is completed, it will accommodate around 30 to 40 people,” Drungpa Karma Jurmi said.

While civil servants such as school teachers and other drungkhag employees of other agencies in Dorokha are contributing labour, Samtse dzongkhag has also contributed money for the materials.

According to the drungpa, after the pandemic is over, drungkhag will use the facility as staff quarters, the shortage of which is still a problem in Dorokha.

Meanwhile, people travelling to Haa, especially people of Sombaykha drungkhag and who come to Samtse for shopping, will benefit the most from the facility.

It takes only two hours to reach Phuchena, the Haa-Samtse border.

After the facility opens, Haa-bound people will be escorted until Phuechena, while people going to other dzongkhags will be escorted and dropped off as far as Sorchen in Phuentsholing.

Edited by Tashi Dema