Neten Dorji | Trashigang

Wary of the increasing number of cases detected from the community transmission in Thimphu and Paro, villagers in Trashigang have become vigilant.

New faces in the villages or gewogs cannot go without being questioned. In Bikhar, Trashigang, Tshering Yangjay is on her way to collect milk. She sees a new face in the village and stops to question the “outsider”.

“We have been safe and we want to be safe. The responsibility falls on each villager to keep our community safe,” says Tshering Yangjay.

Wangdi, a villager, said that local government officers reminded the people twice a day to stay indoors.

Tobgay from Bazor said that the people had become more careful after the news of local transmission of Covid-19 in Thimphu. “So far there has not been news of positive case in the dzongkhag. That’s why we need to be extra careful.”

Passang Thinley, who returned from Thimphu recently tested for the virus at the flu clinic and went home straight. He hasn’t come out of the house since. “We know people now look at us differently.”

Everybody in the village has taken the responsibility of informing each other in case of new faces in the village.

“Many here have told their relatives in the town not to come to the village. At least not for now,” said a villager, Tshering.

Sonam Yangzom of Trashigang town prefers to stay home most of the time and go out only when necessary. “If we stay inside and be careful, we can stop the virus from spreading.”

Shopkeepers say that even though movement is allowed with “movement card” people don’t come out.

“The people have been very co-operative,” said an official on duty. “The people seem to have stocked up essentials before lockdown happened.”