Kelzang Wangchuk | Nganglam

The eastern Covid-19 task force (EC-19TF) appointed Covid-19 village representative (CVR) to enhance the region’s Covid-19 surveillance and monitoring mechanism.

The EC-19TF appointed 35 CVR for cluster villages of Norbugang gewog in Nganglam, Pemagatshel, and signed the undertaking letter yesterday.

They also identified nine CVR in Choekhorling gewog and 49 in Dechhenling gewog.

A person from a village, who has complete knowledge of the entire village cluster and people, who is prominent, responsible and trusted are nominated as the CVR.

Officials would sensitise and sign an undertaking letter, where CVR would help in the national Covid-19 containment, preparedness and response.

As per the press release from the EC-19TF, such surveillance and monitoring are necessary to contain the pandemic. “The approach of engaging the community would move the entire Covid-19 outbreak response from a vertical response approach to a horizontal approach which assures sustainability.”

It stated that such an approach would empower community members and strengthen the local community’s ownership to ensure effective advocacy, proper networking, and dissemination of information and actions at the community level.

According to the press release, villages and towns located near the international border were identified to implement the CVR based on risk profiling.

It also stated the CVR is also responsible for assisting the task force in the preparedness and response to any emergency or unprecedented lockdown and guide the community. “The CVR should also know the spatial Covid-19 contingency plan in his respective village clusters, such as setting up the health camps, security deployment in the strategic locations, essential supplies and farm products delivery points, quarantine and isolation facilities.”

The EC-19TF’s chairman, Dasho Pema Chewang, said it’s challenging for the concerned task forces to prevent and control the transmission if there is no public support. “People should also take responsibility and work together.”

He said identifying the CVR is to give the responsibilities to the people to work together with the task forces to prevent the virus transmission in the community, adding that the CVR would report the situation of their respective clusters every week.

The chairman said that the CVR would not only help to prevent the transmission of the virus in the community but would also facilitate people to trade their local products following the standard operation procedure (SoP).

“The CVR is a primary component of our Covid-19 spatial contingency plan, spatial Covid-19 strategic preparedness and response plan for evidence-based and informed decision making,” Dasho Pema Chewang said.

Meanwhile, the EC-19TF had identified 84 CVRs, sensitised and signed the undertaking letter in Jomotshangkha, Samdrupjongkhar.

Officials said the CVRs showed their interest and dedication in executing their CVR duty during the pandemic as per the terms of reference (ToR).

The EC-19TF would also implement the CVR in Samdrupcholing in Samdrupjongkhar, Panbang in Zhemgang, Toetsho, and Yalang gewogs in Trashiyangtse, Merak and Sakteng in Trashigang as the national task force declared the gewogs as high-risk areas recently.

Edited by Tashi Dema