Govt. asks people to bear with inconveniences caused by the lockdown

MB Subba  

No construction works will be allowed in any part of the country during the lockdown, which began on August 11.

“There are some people who say that workers of a construction site are like a family and they stay as a cohort and that construction owners are said to be bearing the loss for keeping the workers idle,” Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said at a press conference yesterday.

However, he added that there were practical inconveniences, saying that not all workers and contractors lived at the construction site and that some had to travel between their homes and the workplace on a daily basis.

Lyonchhen said that it was an extraordinary time and that such restrictions were inherent characteristics of a lockdown. “It is not good to have a noisy construction site while the households in the surrounding are observing a silent lockdown at home,” he said.

Allowing construction works, he said, would give rise to new problems, as the contractors would ask for movement of vehicles for transportation of construction materials.

Dr Lotay Tshering said that His Majesty was satisfied with the lockdown. He also said that His Majesty was aware of the inconveniences faced by some people, especially those living in urban areas.

“The benefit of the measures will be for us although there will be some inconveniences,” he said, adding that some of the issues that arose with the lockdown were being looked into. “This is the first time we are enforcing such a measure and those issues are expected.”

Agencies enforcing the lockdown are reported to have received several requests for movement of vehicles and people. But the prime minister said that people should cope with the inconveniences in the interest of public health.

The prime minister said that works in the rural areas that would not require gathering of people from different households were allowed. “You can graze your cows and work in your own farm,” he said, adding that members of a family could collect mushrooms in the villages.

On emergencies, Lyonchhen said that people could explain the reasons to the police and De-Suups and need not wait for permits or authorized vehicles to come to their rescue.

“If you have a pregnant wife about to deliver, your wife is in labour pain, then you should not wait for a permit,” he said, adding that it was unlawful for people on duty to stop someone rushing for emergency services.

Health Minister Dechen Wangmo, who also attended the press conference, also expressed satisfaction about the smooth implementation of the lockdown.

The health minister said that issues such as regular check up for diabetes were being looked into. She said that government vehicles were being used for ferrying patients wherever ambulances were not enough.

“So far things have been good. Even if we get local transmission, we are hoping that it will be the least harmful given the efforts the nation has put in,” she said.