The world now has close to 700,000 Covid-19 positive cases. The number of countries affected by the pandemic stands at 199.
We also know that the world still does not have specific medicine to prevent or treat the disease. According to WHO, possible vaccines and specific drug treatments are being tested through clinical trials. This means the pandemic will continue to affect many societies and communities around the world.
In the face of such a threat, the only sensible thing to do is providing care to the affected people. It has been found that most patients recover where there is supportive care. In Bhutan, free healthcare has been the biggest advantage, but as imported cases grow supportive care will become expensive.
What is heartening at such difficult times is the support that people showing. Many individuals and businesses are contributing in cash and kind to help the government fight the pandemic. Those who can afford are bearing the expenses of facility quarantine. Many offices are preparing for the worse but there is no need to make contributions compulsory.
The kind of success we have achieved in preventing the disease is thanks largely to compliance. Bhutanese people are taking health advisories to heart. And that is very important. In the countries where positives cases are growing rapidly, the problem has been with people’s reluctance to adhere to health and travel warnings.
What we need to know is that we have only imported cases. With stringent measures in place in the country, there is no danger of the disease spreading like wildfire. We should keep it this way and this can only happen with personal care. Travel less. Avoid crowd. Maintain hygiene. Clean your hands frequently, cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue, and maintain a distance of at least 1 metre (3 feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing. These are the only tested ways to keep ourselves safe from the disease.
Bhutan is unlikely to come to the situation that some countries are currently faced with. However, we cannot take the problem lightly. That is why the kind of support people are willing to give the government is encouraging.
Even though their businesses have been badly affected, hoteliers are helping the government by making space for facility quarantine. In the days to come, we might need more. Restaurateurs small and big are delivering meals. Those in the transport sector are all set to provide emergency services free.
Most important, the big names in the business are planning big.
It is at such trying times that the Bhutanese show the best in them. With such positivity, tackling Covid-19 ought not to be intractable.
Contributions in cash and kind are welcome but we must not make it mandatory.