As we fight the pandemic that threatens to spread rapidly, it is important that we do not become complacent.

How long the Covid-19 will last, we do not know. In the face of such a disease, health protocols are our only weapon.

Quarantine has been the most effective way to keep ourselves safe. However, of late, there have been reports of people violating quarantine facility protocols.

We have done well so far but thoughtless actions of a few reckless individuals could put us all in grave danger. We can ill afford to turn a blind eye to such disturbing developments.

Health Minister Dechen Wangmo has said that from now on anyone who violates quarantine facility protocol will have to bear the expenses for quarantine—Nu 21,000 for 21 days. He or she will also have to do community service for ten days.

This is a good and sensible decision. The people must realise that the government expends a lot of resources and money on keeping the disease at bay. If the lesson must come the hard way, so be it.

In fact, there is a need for stricter measures. If people are found sneaking in and out of the borders, they should be penalised. In the countries that are failing to deal with the pandemic, the kinds of facilities that we have ensured for the people are few and far between.

The government is stocking up essential items, food reserves among them. In fact, schools’ multipurpose halls are being used as reservoirs. Volunteers are coming forward in great numbers to help the government tackle the disease and its threats.

This is the time when every individual should think about the safety of the people and the nation. Bhutan will not face food shortage. Essential items will be made available. What is important is to not let the country and the government be crippled by the power and the dangerous capriciousness of the pandemic.

Bhutanese from abroad are coming back home. We do not have a single local Covid-19 positive case still because our screening and quarantine systems have been very effective. These systems must be bolstered.

Complacency is the biggest danger yet. We must not let it creep in.