Phurpa Lhamo  | Wangdue

Wangdue officials delivered essential items to around 60 households on the first day of lockdown.

Around 9pm on the first day of the lockdown, the Wangdue dzongkhag officials were delivering the last order of the day—around five packets of Nan Pro-milk powder for infants, to a young mother.

Wangdue’s Agriculture Officer Dhodo said that the baby was around three months old. “It was late but we made sure to deliver it. We tried not to miss a single order.”

When the first day of the lockdown ended, Wangdue dzongkhag had delivered about 889kg of rice. Another 0.089 metric tonne (MT) of refine oil, 78kg of sugar and 60kg of salt to the households in Wangdue.

A majority of these orders came from people residing in Bajo, Wangdue. Of Wangdue’s over 45,100 people, nearly 9,000 reside in Bajo.

Apart from Food Corporation of Bhutan Limited offices identified to supply essential items in Wangdue, the dzongkhag also identified two wholesalers, three vegetable vendors and three meat shops on August 12 to supply the demands.

The vegetable vendors, meat shops and wholesaler shops would change every day, with each one receiving their turns to sell their goods. Including two pharmacies, there are 14 wholesalers, 37 vegetable vendors and 13 meat shops identified in Wangdue. This excludes farm shops and grocery shops identified in its various gewogs.

“We are also collecting the price of the products for every shop that is identified, so that they don’t raise the price,” Dhodo said.

The dzongkhag on August 11 also collected nearly 40 quintals of chilies from Kazhi gewog and around six quintals of beans from Nyisho gewog. These products were already harvested by the farmers.

The dzongkhag officials have today asked the farmers to not harvest vegetables from their farms without an ensured market or without further directives.

Wangdue Dzongdag Sonam Jamtsho said that during the first day, apart from minor organisation issues, work went according to the contingency plan.

He added that the first step taken when the lockdown was announced was to seal the borders. Fourteen foot-tracks linking Wangdue to various other dzongkhags were sealed in the morning.

“Every individual official has been given a responsibility and things have been going well.”

The dzongkhag on August 11 also helped stranded individuals leave for home on the first day of the lockdown.

Around 20 officials mostly teachers also left for their resident dzongkhag upon instruction from the National Covid-19 Task Force late yesterday. 

Earlier, the officials also received requests from the stranded individuals who were mostly residing in hotels for a discount in room charges and for meals.

Today, Yours and Phuensum Hotels in Wangdue have promised free room and meals for the three guests residing in the hotels. Dekiling Hotel, housing another two guests, has offered free meals and cheaper room charge.