Phurpa Lhamo | Punakha

Since the lockdown on August 11, there have been ample donations and volunteers in Punakha.

In the dzongkhag’s battle against Covid-19, 36 members of the Bhutan Red Cross Society have been volunteering to pick and drop patients from Punakha Hospital for over a week now.

Taxi driver and a Red Cross member, Rinzin Wangchuk, said that every day, he picked and dropped around 12 individuals to the hospital and back home.

He added that the furthest he had to drive to drop a patient was to Paro, Samdingkha, and Kamichhu.“I spend around Nu 500 every day to fuel the vehicle.”

Another Red Cross member, Sonam Dorji, said that without an income he was using his savings. “When our income was cut due to the pandemic, we received help. I just wanted to do something in return.”

Around 450 workers—including DeSuup, police, and health officials—have also received monetary and material donations.

Punakha Dzongdag Karma Drukpa said that the dzongkhag received around Nu 1 million (M) worth of goods. He added that around 40 taskforce members had received free accommodation at Damchen Resort.

“We are grateful to Yum Thuji Zangmo and Dasho Sonam Tobgay,” he said.

Hotel Kuengacholing, Hotel Puensum and Hotel Lobesa have also provided space for the frontline workers.

From 11 gewogs in Punakha, fruits and vegetables are being donated.

Punakha has received more than Nu 200,000 in donations.

The donations were made by Dasho Sonam Tobgay, members of parliament, and shopkeepers in Punakha.

The cash donations will be used to buy essential items for the frontline workers.