In a bid to control the spread of COVID-19, Bhutan on Tuesday, 22 December, announced a 7-day nationwide lockdown starting Wednesday. The decision to enforce the lockdown comes after the detection of sporadic COVID-19 cases in flu clinics in Thimphu, Paro, and Lhamoizingkha, which is evident of local transmission, reported IANS.
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.
During the lockdown, only designated shops within the zones and essential services will be available. All schools, institutions, offices and business establishments will remain closed.
From Wednesday, individuals with permits will be allowed to move within the zones and delivery of essentials will start in Thimphu, as it completes the third day of lockdown. However, zone relaxation will not apply to houses under isolation.
Relevant agencies will reportedly 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.
IANS quoted the PMO stating, "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."
(With inputs from IANS)