Health Minister Dasho Dechen Wangmo

Another outbreak is expected if people become more complacent: Health Minister

The health ministry has been observing a bit of complacency among the people and the health ministry is trying to monitor it. Especially after the second lockdown, more people are seen mass gathering and without masks sometimes.

Health Minister Dasho Dechen Wangmo said it has come to the notice that when the disease comes, for example during the first case, the entire Thimphu city was empty. The ministry has been requesting from day one that it is not just the responsibility of the health ministry and so by now everyone should know about the prevention of COVID-19.

She said if each and every one takes the responsibility collectively an outbreak can be controlled and there will not be another lockdown.

“Now the ministry has put good surveillance in place so we are fairly confident that if we do have an outbreak, we will be able to catch that outbreak within a week’s time. We are putting a lot of emphasis on surveillance but at the same time compliance to public health measures is very important and this is where the ministry has been requesting people. I think imposing a fine or penalty also seems very primitive. I believe that deep down Bhutanese people for the love of the country, will follow these measures,” said the health minister.

Lyonpo said no one can say that there will not be another outbreak in the community. “If people are becoming more complacent and don’t follow rules and continue with the old behavior then there will be another outbreak and a lockdown,” said Lyonpo.

She said that whether there is an outbreak is all in the hands of individuals. Lyonpo said if all individuals follow the health protocols well and even if there is an outbreak, the spread will be minimal and if the spread is minimal then the implication of the disease will be less and the lockdown may not even happen.

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