We cannot take Covid-19 lightly

Our greatest worry was that there would be fatigue and complacency. We cannot be complacent or be overtaken by weariness. These are extraordinary times we are living in.

Covid-19 positive cases in the country are rising. 

On May 30, we saw the highest jump—10 positive cases in all. Many more Bhutanese from abroad, from the places that are affected severely, are yet to come home.

But take a look at our towns. In Thimphu, crowding in the town has begun again. We also have a story from Trashigang. The people have begun to take the threat of the very lightly. And this is worrying. This could perhaps be because we have a very strong quarantine system in the country.

Recently, a civil servant from the ministry of health said that he was beginning to feel Covid-19 is one of the most interesting jokes.

From a press conference yesterday, we came to know how careless some of us are. Three individuals, after completing the quarantine period, had travelled to Paro to meet their friends, who are currently in quarantine.

For a small and close-knit society like ours the rate of quarantine breach is alarmingly high. All in all, 63 people have defaulted the quarantine protocol. If this is happening, 21 days quarantine with a mandatory 10 days of community service is not enough.

We need a more stringent measure. Why are face masks and hand sanitizer not important now, suddenly? Such signs of fatigue and carelessness is a problem facing our society today.

Border crossing at this time is another problem. Some people, reportedly, are smuggling in good and people into the country. Labour shortage at home is a serious problem. But all these are lessons for Bhutan. We need to build skilled labour force. We need to produce enough to feed ourselves.

So far, we do not have community transmission but the threat is growing. Our quarantine system must be further strengthened. The breach of health protocols should be considered more than mere lapses.

Health minister could not be more blunt. “Our strategy is simple, if you show me a pistol, I’ll show you my AK-47.” 

This is the approach. We are compelled to resort to such a situation.

Covid-19 threat is not over. We cannot take things lightly.

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