Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar

A resident of a high-risk area who has not received the booster dose will not be allowed to move to low-risk areas, according to the Eastern Covid-19 Task Force (EC-19TF).

The booster dose in Samdrupjongkhar began yesterday.

EC-19TF chairman, Dasho Pema Chewang, said that it was important for everyone to get the booster dose because Omicron had been reported in India. People should inform and encourage their relatives in high-risk areas to take the booster dose, he said.

“Without the booster dose, we’d not send people even during emergencies because the safety of the community comes first,” he said.

However, residents of Samdrupjongkhar expect the Dzongkhag Covid-19 Task Force (DC-19TF), EC-19TF and the government to relax the week-long mandatory quarantine after the booster dose.

A resident, Tshewang Zangmo, said since there was no community transmission for a few months now, they expect the government and concerned authorities to lift the week-long mandatory quarantine when they travel to the low-risk areas.

She said they could not meet her old parents in the village as they refused to come due to the quarantine system. “It is also a burden for both the individual in the quarantine and the government.”

Residents said they expected the government and concerned authorities to relax the quarantine after the successful second jab but didn’t. “Instead, the system had become more strict after the second jab.”

“It’d help if the week-long mandatory quarantine coud reduce to three days and release people after the RT-PCR test for emergency travel after the booster dose,” a resident, Tshering, said.

Meanwhile, about 22,000 people above 18-year-old, registered for the booster dose in the dzongkhag, and more than 4,000 got their dose yesterday.