As the nation comes out of the second national lockdown and more than 300 cases of local COVID-19 transmission, mainly in Thimphu and Paro, the words of His Majesty, as relayed by the Prime Minister, should ring clear and loud.
His Majesty advised the government to be cautious, alert and not take things for granted, only because the current situation has gone well.
His Majesty has also commanded for additional measures in Paro airport, which is the mostly likely source of the second outbreak, and His Majesty also commanded for much larger testing than originally planned in Thimphu, before it was unlocked.
The message from the Golden Throne for everybody from the government to ordinary citizens is that we should be on an even higher guard from now on to prevent another outbreak, followed by a crippling national lockdown.
The second outbreak happened due to combination of lax protocol and implementation by government agencies and a general sense of complacency among the public that the worst is behind us until reality sunk its teeth in.
The government must be congratulated for getting a grip on the second outbreak and special commendation must be given to the health professionals and the frontline workers and volunteers.
It is good that going forward the approach will be to actively seek out COVID-19 through multiple tests instead of waiting for it to happen.
Government agencies should learn their lessons from the second outbreak and necessary changes and rectifications must take place.
The public should not lose its fear of the virus, and if anything, going by new information- it needs to be feared more than ever before.
This paper has brought out the long term health impacts of COVID-19 on even mild cases of COVID-19 using domestic examples and also international medical sources.
The government has to follow up on the recovered cases to see how they are faring.
With new variants of COVID-19, which are not only more infectious but also more deadly, coming out in different parts of the world, ‘vaccine hesitancy’ is the last thing that the Bhutanese public should engage in.
Caution is the eldest child of wisdom.
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