Almost all Bhutanese abroad wanting to come back are in the country now: Foreign Minister

Since the lockdown, Bhutan has received two repatriation flights, one flight from Singapore on 22 August and other from Kolkata on 24 August. There were 35 Bhutanese who came in from Kolkata and they are all patients who were returning after completing their treatment.

A flight from Singapore had more than 90 Bhutanese coming in from Europe, US, Philippine and from Malaysia. As per the official from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there will be no upcoming relief flights.

An official said, “We might have eight people coming in from Kathmandu which is for now planned on 30 August. However we are yet to confirm as it takes time to confirm because it is subject to approval from the designated country.”

The paper has learnt that for those Bhutanese who want to go abroad during such time, the ministry at first tries to advice them if they can postpone their travel to later times but if they prefer to travel at their set time they travel at their own risk.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister, Dr Tandi Dorji said that international flights have not been stopped but domestic flights are stopped for now. Those Bhutanese abroad can still come if they want to and those who want to go abroad can still go.

Lyonpo said, “For now the number of Bhutanese who wants to come is very few which is economically not viable to take a flight and there are no regular flights. It is not that we have stopped any flights due to lockdown. If the number comes to 100 then they can take a flight and come.”

In addition, he said that they have almost brought in all the Bhutanese from abroad and the number of Bhutanese who wants to come in is very less.

For now Lyonpo said that there is no issue with the Bhutanese living abroad. “Those two Bhutanese who have tested positive in Australia are doing fine while the one who tested positive in Kolkata has now tested negative”, he added.

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