They say vigilance and caution will continue

Neten Dorji | Trashigang

The small Trashigang town has slowly come to life with traffic becoming busier, shops and restaurants opening to business and people coming out to shop and eat out.

While the government continues to ramp up Covid-19 testing and controlling the spread of the disease, the residents are quickly adapting to new normal.

If using facemasks in common places has become the norm, public transport looks different with passenger capacity down to 50 percent and queuing with distance has become almost like a tradition.

Officials on duty continue to ask the public to follow health protocols and remind that the pandemic has not gone even if it is under control.

Most residents said that after easing the lockdown, people are coping with new normal and are vigilant. “Most of people were adapted with new habits and following precautionary measures,” said a resident, Wangchuk. “Officials need not shout like in the past as most of the people are aware of it.”

He said that they are relieved, but cautious wherever they move around.

Kheni Dorji, 73, a retired civil servant said the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the social life. “People are afraid and isolating themselves,” he said. “Everybody is waiting impatiently for a permanent solution to the pandemic, so that every one can return to normal life.”

The lockdown helped people to understand what is important to them because they don’t have many options and places to visit are limited.

A resident, Loday Gyeltshen, 51, prefers to stay home most of the time and go out only when necessary.  “As a family, we are doing our best by staying home and not meeting with other people outdoors,” he said. “Even we are moving outside for shopping, I hesitate to meet them thinking I may infect others, if I am infected.”

Trashigang has not reported a single case of Covid-19.

Residents said they are also stocking up everything as a preparation for future lockdown. “I learnt family and safety always come first,” said Loday Gyeltshen explaining he is stocking up essential items every week.

Tshewing Tenzin, 54 from Bikhar said when the government placed trusts in people, everyone should cooperate. “While Government allowed us to return to normal life, we need to support the government for the safety of all,” he said.

Some restaurants witnessed more customers, while some said it would take time to return to normal business, as most of the people are staying at home.

Officials are monitoring the town ensuring people wash their hands before entering a shop or a restaurant and keep distance when inside.

“Most of people are following health protocol except few,” said an official on duty.  “We remind them to wash their hands regularly, maintain distance and wear masks.”