Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering has said that with no new cases from the communities for the last two weeks and a successful vaccination campaign, which is underway, the government could expect some relaxation of Covid-19 protocols.

Given the hardships that the people, especially in the south of the country that shares a long border with India had to endure, the news of relaxation is welcome.

Lyonchhen said that the national task force members and health experts have decided that there could be certain relaxations in protocols such as the business operation timings and the 21-day mandatory quarantine for those entering the country from abroad.

These are all right but what we must not forget is that with such relaxations we could sidestep the important protocols that have kept us safe so far. That’s the danger that many countries are facing today.

But what happens elsewhere is not important—what our small decisions and actions could lead to is going to make a huge difference. As a small country with a small health system and professionals, we can’t afford to go easy with the virus that is mutating very fast.

Lyonchhen said that without any restrictions and protocols, if there is an outbreak in the communities, the number of infected people would multiply exponentially.

That is the main concern for Bhutan.

The people are yet to understand vaccination, immunity, and safety. Why? The information from the relevant authorities is not coming down to the people. The danger is that this could lead to many sheds of complications.

What is reassuring is that Lyonchhen said the government would not lift the protocols despite requests from the public in the interest of the public themselves. He explained that in absence of protocols, if an infected person from a high-risk area entered a lower risk area, the disease would spread exponentially within a day. That’s true, which is why adhering to health and movement protocols is absolutely necessary.

In many societies, the danger is shaping up in the most worrying face—complacency.

Covid-19 is not going to go away easily. People are talking about the possible lifestyle changes due to the pandemic. The change is already here; we have been coping with the many variants of the virus.

Standing protocols and measures must not be eased or ignored. Our focus has to be on keeping everything strong and tight.