The Covid-19 threat is still around. Going by the health ministry’s weekly record, there were 186 positive cases this week. Thimphu, Chukha, and Paro dzongkhags have reported the highest number of positive cases so far.

Although health experts say that people should not be concerned, the threat is real, especially as we prepare to open the borders again.

The variant that has infected most of the people in the country is the Omicron B.5 that is circulating worldwide.

Drawing from the global patterns, health experts say that number of cases is expected to decline in a week’s time. We may not have cases that require hospitalisation but we can not afford to brush the threat aside.

The situation currently is a much-relaxed one. People seem to have forgotten the requirements such as facemasks and physical distancing.

What we must not forget is that China, the country from where Covid-19 was first detected and began spreading, had to call for another lockdown. Millions of people have been ordered to stay at home under partial or full lockdowns. As the authorities scramble to contain local outbreaks, shortages of food and essential items are growing.

In neighbouring India, the country saw 4,369 new coronavirus infections taking the total tally of Covid-19 cases to 4,45,04,949. The death count climbed to 5,28,185 with 20 casualties in the last 24 hours.

We also know that the new variants of the virus are making preparedness difficult for most health systems around the world. As winter approaches, we may be in for a much more difficult position to deal with the virus that seems to proliferate in such right conditions. Viruses can retreat and revive, which means if we do not take the necessary precautions, we can be infected again.

In fact, some scientists have gone on record to say that the current wave could be as devastating as the last one we experienced. It is because of such developments around the world that we need to restructure and tighten the health protocols that kept us largely safe when the virus was running riot.

Of course the new variants of the virus need in-depth study, but we can not expose ourselves to the danger. Cases may have dropped comparatively but we can not afford to be complacent.

As we continue to fight the virus, information, education and communication will be key.

Sensible restrictions and meaningful requirements still are very much relevant because health experts continue to maintain that wearing facemasks, especially in public and crowded places like meetings and celebrations is important.