Bhutan announces 1-week nationwide lockdown from Wednesday after spike in COVID-19 cases

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DY365
Published: December 23,2020 08:12 AM
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December 23, 2020: Bhutan government announced on Tuesday it would impose a nationwide lockdown for seven days, starting Wednesday in an effort to contain the recent surge in the number of coronavirus

December 23, 2020: Bhutan government announced on Tuesday it would impose a nationwide lockdown for seven days, starting Wednesday in an effort to contain the recent surge in the number of coronavirus cases in the country.



“In continuation to the inter-district movement restriction imposed this morning, the National COVID-19 Taskforce decided the need for a more stringent action after detection of sporadic cases in flu clinics in Thimphu and Paro, and also in Lhamoizingkha, which is evident of local transmission,” Prime Minister’s Office, Bhutan said in a statement on its official Facebook page.



The lockdown across the nation will enable the government to control the spread of the disease and also discern the extent of transmission in the communities, the PMO, Bhutan said.



“All dzongdas and thrompons are requested to take charge, activate and ensure smooth implementation of zone system. It is left to the districts to decide time for 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,” it added.





During the lockdown period, only designated shops within the zones and essential services will be allowed to function. All schools, institutions, offices and business establishments will remain closed.



Movement of individuals with the card 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, the statement read.



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



The statement further said that the government would take the decision regarding the extension of lockdown period on the basis of "pattern of disease transmission".



“This time, we have obvious indication of rampant local transmission and urge people to take maximum precaution. Let us all pray and work together to come out of this lockdown safe and stronger, as an individual and as a nation,” it added.