The lockdown rule is relaxed with the zoning system that allows controlled movement of people coming into effect. By evening yesterday, people were thanking the government for allowing them to come out and shop or take a brisk walk.
Lockdowns are not good. It can be suffocating, as many experienced in the last nine days. To prevent possible local transmission, it was seen as the best solution at hand.
The relaxation means that the capital city is safe, at least for now. All the contacts traced by the health ministry tested negative, which is relief. With about 900 people confirmed to have travelled from the Red Zone, Phuentsholing, to the capital, a case in the community was the biggest fear.
Thanks to the effort of all the people engaged in ensuring the lockdown was successful, the people who cooperated and the nationwide kurims the dratsang conducted, we have not reported a case in the capital city. One case of community transmission in the city with about 130,000 people would spell disaster.
However, let us be mindful that the fight is not over. In fact, we have just begun. The relaxation should not be misunderstood. It should not make people complacent again. The risk is still there.
Having recognised the pandemic as a national crisis, it was the responsibility of every Bhutanese to fight the pandemic. We were a lot better in cooperating with authorities and making the last 10 days successful. There were hiccups and the government accepted it with the Prime Minister and cabinet ministers always being apologetic of the shortages and the inconveniences caused.
As we enter the 11th day, most are convinced that lockdown is for our own good. We can relax at home, spend quality time with family and do a lot of things that we had not the time to do. We can be assured of goods delivered at our doorsteps. Delivery of essentials has improved judging by the outpour of appreciations on social media. It is not only vegetables now. Tobacco, doma and alcohol, although discouraged, are also not only made available, but also delivered.
However, let us not be relaxed about the protocols. There are timings, numbers and zones to be followed. Crowding is discouraged and facemask is a must. Let us be reminded that there are many who want to stay home, but are on duty to ensure our safety and comfort.
The duration of the lockdown depends on how well we control the spread of the virus. How we control depends on all of us. It is actually in our hands.