… PM admits lapses and takes responsibility

Yangchen C Rinzin 

Residents in the remaining two mega zones of Thimphu thromde can venture out of their homes as unlocking phase one begins in Central mega zones 1 and 2 from today.

The C-1 zone covers Zilukha, Motithang, Changangkha, Norzin Wog, Norzin Tag, and Yangchenphu area. The C-2 includes Changzamtog, Changbangdu, and Lungtenphu super zones.

Of the four mega zones in Thimphu thromde, the national Covid-19 taskforce declared unlocking of the North and South mega zones on January 18.

Residents in these two zones are allowed to move within the mega zone without the movement cards but on foot between 5am and 5pm.

Only shops selling essential items including pharmacy would be allowed to operate. While driving is restricted, people can jog, walk, and go cycling within the zone. 

Announcing the unlocking of the two mega zones, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said about 21,000 residents tested negative to Covid-19 during the mass screening testing conducted in the two zones.

Results for about 3,000 samples are expected soon. However, Lyonchhen said that it would mostly likely be negative. Even if there are any positive cases, the area will be cordoned off and the rest of the zones will see relaxations beginning today.

“Except for a woman who tested positive from the Changbangdu zone yesterday, none tested positive and she appears to be already in the recovery stage,” he said.

He cautioned that the residents should remain within their mega zones.

After a week another round of testing will be done and if the results are negative the entire thromde will turn into a green zone. Schools and offices can then open.

Lyonchhen said that the residents have to adhere to the Covid-19 safety protocol to ensure that the virus does not return.

He highlighted the difficulties people faced during the lockdown and thanked them for their understanding and cooperation. “Together we successfully ended the virus, something even the advanced countries world over are struggling to do,” lyonchhen said.

He appealed to the landlords to make an exception and reduce or waive the rent for those who are adversely impacted by the pandemic situation and are unable to pay rent.

Lyonchhen said that despite the best efforts, he admitted there could have been some lapses in dealing with the pandemic.

While the government reviewed the lapses, he said it was difficult to place the blame and responsibility on one individual.

“I alone take all the blame and responsibility for the lapses. How can I blame the frontliners who have worked hard day in day out?” he said.