Nima Wangdi

Health Minister Dechen Wangmo said that the lapse in cordoning off a red building in Bebena, Thimphu, could have occurred because one person owns both buildings.

A still video clip went viral on social media by the afternoon of March 10, where a resident of a building cordoned off for 11 days questioned how authorities could lock them when the positive case was from a different building. 

Showing both the buildings, the person explained they knew the positive case was from the other building when health officials came to follow up and declared their building green. “By then, people from that building went everywhere with movement cards.”

During a virtual question-answer session with the public yesterday afternoon, Lyonpo Dechen Wangmo said there was confusion since a person owns both the buildings.

“We use a system called Zhichar App for cordoning off red buildings and red clusters. We log in using the citizenship identity card number of the building owners and then we know exactly where this flat is,” she said.

The minister did not, however, explain how they could not identify the flat while cordoning off the wrong building, but instead said there could be some errors since we all are human beings.

“I am not justifying the mistake, but a person owning both the buildings located together could have caused this confusion,” Lyonpo Dechen Wangmo said.

Sources, however, said that the lapses could have happened in the process of handing over the management of the red buildings to desuups on February 28.

“They cordoned off the wrong building and guarded it,” a source said.

While many people said positive cases must be emerging from the community during the lockdowns because of such lapses, residents of the building said they found out about the lapse after asking each other in a group chat.

The person who made the video clip said he is cautioning people to be careful as they might have come in contact with primary contacts.

 “His Majesty the King is always concerned about the public and officials on the ground are making mistakes,” he said, cautioning people to avoid unnecessary travels to avoid contacting virus.