Phurpa Lhamo | Punakha

Lotay woke up around 6:30am yesterday. With Phenteykha in Punakha identified as a red zone after two cases of Covid-19 positive cases, Lotay’s daily schedule has changed.

Other times he woke at 5am.

He fed the animals before breakfast at 8am.

Usually, he would join his neighbour for farm work after breakfast. He hasn’t gone out so far.

Before the declaration of Phenteykha village as a red zone, the famers were preparing to cultivate vegetables and fodders for their animals.

“We would also be collecting firewood around this time for winter,” Namgay, 51 said.

The people here have been advised to avoid visiting their neighbours. Going out and entry into the village has also been closed.

On December 21, two individuals—parents to the index case—were tested positive.

It was learned that about a week ago, a primary contact of the index case had visited Phenteykha for an annual village rimdro.

The village has around 19 households.

The health officials with support from dzongkhag and gewog officials have collected samples of the individuals who came in contact with the Covid-19 positive cases.

On December 20, 37 samples were sent to Thimphu. More than 20 samples were sent to Thimphu on December 21. Apart from the two cases, others tested negative.

Villagers said that it was time to show support to the infected individuals and to help contain the disease.

“We are more worried that the disease might have been spread to other places,” Namgay said.

Tshogpa Kinley Gyeltshen said that he was relieved that the villagers showed support to those infected and were complying to the safety protocols put in place.

Today, the gewog officials are keeping in touch with the villagers through Wechat.