The proactive actions from the Ministry of Health are to be lauded in the face of a threat that is knocking on our doors.

BF.7, a sub-lineage of the Omicron variant BA.5 is running riot.  And, it is in such difficult times that rumours give a new spin. The border gates are closing again, we hear. There is panic.

This is only to be expected, knowing what lockdowns bring to the nation and the people. If there are such concerns from the public, it is a good sign and we must bolster of surveillance system to the maximum.

The plan currently is that children between the ages of six months to below five years and those with chronic diseases will be given Covid-19 vaccine. Parents are encouraged to register their children on Bhutan Vaccine System. Parents must take this very seriously.

 The ministry reportedly paid for the 84,000 doses of vaccine for the children in this age group and Bhutan will also receive more than 100,000 doses of (Pfizer adult) vaccine by mid of next month. This lot of vaccine is to be given as booster doses for people between the ages of 12 and above.

 The ministry has over 65,000 doses in stock and 50,000 doses of paedriatic vaccines will arrive in March on top of the 50,000 doses in stock already. These vaccines are meant for children between the ages of five and 11 years.

 More than 68 percent of people 18 and above have been vaccinated with the fourth dose (Second booster) to date. The health ministry urges people to get vaccinated.

 The government of India now requires international passengers travelling from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Thailand to undergo mandatory RTPCR tests before departure and upload reports on Air Suvidha portal from January 1. The test must be conducted within 72 hours of undertaking the journey to India.

 We have gone through some difficult times. Lockdown is never a convenient measure, as we have experienced.

We know that the Ministry of Health is monitoring the trends of Covid-19 at all the major points of entry. This is a good beginning. What is more important is that we should be able to strengthen the protocol and surveillance systems at home.

 Even the basics such as wearing face masks, washing hands, and maintaining physical distance will go a long way in protecting ourselves from the imminent onslaught.