Phub Dem | Paro


With no new cases reported and no indication of community transmission after several tests, Haa dzongkhag task force began lockdown relaxation in green zones yesterday.

The dzongkhag taskforce categorised the places into zones.

Tsilungkha and Beltso village of Uesu gewog and Karjena and Nagtsho village of Katsho gewog are considered yellow zones, as there were primary contacts of the index case in Haa.

Haa throm also falls under the yellow zone after the task force carried out a risk assessment.

All other places are considered green zones.

Haa dzongdag Kinzang Dorji said the classification would change depending on health surveillance and assessment risk.

Except for those residing in yellow zones, residents can move within their gewogs, carry out agricultural works, and construction works within self-containment zones are allowed.

As per the unlocking directives, people living in green zones can enter yellow clusters but they can return after undergoing rapid antigen tests before and after undergoing home quarantine for a week.

However, movement of vehicles will not be allowed except for utility and emergency vehicles.

Only identified shops for the supply of essential goods will operate from 9am to 6pm.

Soelkha and Rimdro will be allowed with a maximum of three choeps, but residents cannot hire lam or choeps from outside the village.

A notification from the task force states that those availing medical services and wishing to visit flu clinic should call toll free number 1008 and register.

It also states people arriving from Thimphu and Paro will be home quarantined for seven days, followed by an antigen test with at least two members of the family one is staying with to complete the compulsory home quarantine protocol.

The dzongkhag activated movement within zones in Haa throm using movement cards between 10am to 4pm.

People in the yellow zone can move within their cluster only. However, activities such as construction, rimdro, loche, sports are not allowed in yellow zones.

Kinzang Dorji said that rather than complaining about the lockdown, locals were reluctant to come outside.

He said that the dzongkhag received numerous calls stating that complete lockdown must continue as they felt that there were still some risks.

“If people follow the protocols, there was no risk. If lockdown extends, there will be lots of issues related to essential items and delay in farm works.”

According to the dzongdag, locals were sceptical about unregulated movements between dzongkhags, which might bring in new cases. “People assured that they would strictly follow the protocols but movements between dzongkhag have to be monitored.”

According to travel records with the dzongkhag administration, more than 4,700 people travelled between Haa, Paro and Thimphu two weeks before the lockdown, which is almost 35 per cent of the total population in Haa.