Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering, during Meet-the Press held yesterday, said the season for cordycep collection in Bhutan is here, and the government has studied the possible risks of COVID-19 transmission to the people in the north of the country collecting the cordyceps.
He said, “After studying the risk of transmission of COVID-19 virus, we do not see much risk in our people going uphill for cordycep collection, as people coming from the northern side avoids our people too.”
He said that people must come into close contact with each other to transmit the novel coronavirus. But that is unlikely to happen with the cordycep collectors, as there will be distance of a kilometer in between them, he assured.
“In this case, people will be separated by mountains. It is not that we will allow illegal collectors or outsiders (non-Bhutanese) for cordycep collection. We will not allow it. Informers are put in place and we have security across the border. Everything will be done as usual involving forest officials,” PM added.
PM said despite so much of hard work put in by His Majesty, the government and relevant stakeholders, there are people who are into carrying out illegal business.
“If anyone has information on illegal businesses taking place anywhere across any border, which we may not know, then we urge people to come forward, so that we can prevent any disaster from happening,” PM said.
The Agriculture Minister Lyonpo Yeshey Penjor said that around 1,300 forest officials are deployed along the borders.