Facemasks for all and movement in the south to be restricted after 7 pm

As part its additional measures to prevent and contain local transmission in high risk areas the Health Minister Dechen Wangmo said that the government is now advising all people to wear facemasks in public places and hospitals.

Lyonpo said the ministry has done a risk assessment in Bhutan and the risk is higher in the border areas. She said that movement in the southern borders would be restricted after 7 pm.

“Restriction of movement after 7 pm along the borders will be detailed out in a SOP by the task force team from Phuentsholing as they know the local situation the best,” said Lyonpo

Lyonpo said that given the risk in the border areas from Monday onwards there will be 3-T.

Test, Trace and Treat (3-T) for the COVID-19 in the high-risk area of bordering towns will be implemented.

Lyonpo said that the ministry has tested 1,036 people along the border, and only one IGM positive case from Jomotsangkha was detected. In total 10,000 people have been tested. Lyonpo said that there are enough testing kits at the moment.

Lyonpo said that periodic testing of high risk communities and frontline responders and volunteers along the border will happen.

Lyonpo also added that the ground screening of travelers coming from the border towns into the inner reaches of Bhutan will be put in place at strategic points.

“Travelers will be screened for fever and for those with fever a rapid test will be done to rule out COVID-19. Additional measures will be in place from 18 May,” Lyonpo added.

She requested every individual to make use of the Druk Trace App for effective tracing. There will be documentation of contact information and travel history of all travelers shall be maintained.

Lyonpo said there is enough PPE and medicines in the hospitals in the south for any treatment.

Lyonpo added that the public health measures are very important and everyone should follow it.

“Maintaining physical distancing and hand washing stations in all public places will be enforced and we recommend the use of face mask in the public places including health facilities and avoiding non-essential gathering at all times,” Lyonpo said.

Foreign Minister Dr Tandi Dorji added that the ongoing patrolling along the border will be more vigilant.

“More numbers of DeSuups are being trained so that they can be deployed in the border areas to tighten the security along the border. If the situation gets worse, we will use drones but we are still discussing on this,” the Foreign Minister said.

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