90-95 % lockdown compliance so far

Plans being discussed for meat delivery

With the zoning cards recently issued to each household in Thimphu it would surely add up to the surveillance teams’ tasks as there would be more offences to look into.

However, Karma Yonten, head of the Office of Performance Management (OPM) , His Majesty’s Secretariat (HMS) believes that there has been 90-95 % lockdown compliance from people so far and that even to get to this point was mainly due to people’s cooperation during the vegetable distribution, having maintained social distances and taking health precaution by waiting in queues and availing their products.

He said that when it comes to serious violations the police force would be recording such incidences, whereas the Dessung taskforce’s priority at the moment is to create awareness and inform people about the norms and regulations in place.

He said, “The zoning system is a very new system that has just been rolled out and a lot of people are still not fully aware of how it works, so rather than a violation, I feel that it is more of a misunderstanding of what is supposed to be done during this time”.

 According to the police reports so far there has not been any major violation of the lockdown scenario from the adults’ side however some youth had been reported for rubbing off marijuana or had been caught in search of cigarettes during the lockdown.

 Karma Yonten said that in terms of zoning there have been cases where people have misused the zone cards and that the rightful owner had actually lent the card to another person. He said that the taskforce is discouraging such activities since it is not in the interest of its true purpose.

Furthermore, he added that each household is issued a card and that they cannot identify the people in those households as there could be one or more persons in each household, therefore they expect and hope that people would cooperate and use it just for the purpose it was assigned for.

 He said, “The general expectation is that people follow the 3 requirements off which the first one is being within their zones which is shown by the strip on the card, second is that one has to come out in the time that is assigned to each person from the household and the third is to come out alone”.

He added, “Dessups can easily identify these things as they are highly visible”.

 He stated, “Another issue is that some people are worried that if they don’t come out in the morning the stocks might finish up, and that sort of issues are there which are to be ironed out.”

 He added that in terms of shops, some shops have been opening up by saying that they have the permission to open but when in fact they don’t have the permissions and are not aware of how to get the permits.

He said that all these things are being sorted out through the call centers by calling up people and trying to handle all the issues that are being presented.

 He said that in terms of the zoning time period, people should not expect grace period from the time that they are being allocated as they tried to ensure that every household was at least at an average of 15-20 minutes walking distance far from their designated shops which leaves them with 3 hours at hand.

However, he said that they are still monitoring the time required as it is early days for the new system.

 He added that in some remote places the shops did not have stocks and required spaces to cater to large numbers and therefore they are looking into options of sending trucks with all the 19 essential items that were determined by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Ministry of Agriculture along with which also planning to deliver medicinal items, alcohol and other stuff.

As for meat delivery services, he said that they have been in discussion with the Department of Livestock about dispatching meat vans to all 38 zones within Thimphu to make rounds at least twice a week in all the zones in the 3 different shifts of time; morning, afternoon and evening.

He said that in the past such delivery service has received complaints regarding missing out on delivery and only those who heard it having availed the services.

He added that they are looking into using technology to device the vans’ location through the use of GPS system so that people can track the vehicle in their locality and can go and buy accordingly.

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