Bhutan to enforce 7-day lockdown from Wednesday

The Prime Ministers Office in Bhutan on Tuesday announced that in continuation to the inter-district movement restrictions imposed this morning, the national Covid-19 taskforce has decided to take stringent action after the detection of sporadic Covid-19 cases in flu clinics in Thimphu and Paro, and also in Lhamoizingkha, which is evident of local transmission.

Accordingly, it has been decided to impose a seven-day nationwide lockdown from Wednesday, which will enable the government to control the spread of the disease and also discern the extent of transmission in the communities.

“In doing so, His Majesty has commanded that it should be of minimum inconvenience to the people. The government will strive to work towards that,” the PMO said.

All dzongdas and thrompons have been requested to take charge, activate and ensure the smooth implementation of the zone system. It is left to the districts to decide the time for the activation of the zone system. All other support and actions required will be carried out in close consultation with the national taskforce and the zoning team.

While only designated shops within the zones and essential services will be available, all schools, institutions, offices and business establishments should remain closed.

Similarly, movement of individuals with permits within the zones and delivery of essentials will start in Thimphu from Wednesday, as it completes the third day of lockdown. However, zone relaxation will not apply to houses under isolation.

Relevant agencies will ensure that there are no disruptions in supply of goods, vegetables and other essential items, including animal feed, within the country. The government will also facilitate and ensure minimum disruption in import and export of all goods.

“While we have decided on the seven-day lockdown to begin with, the pattern of disease transmission will determine the way forward. This time, we have obvious indication of rampant local transmission and urge people to take maximum precaution,” the PMO said.