Responding to questions from the public about allowing sports and not using face masks like in other countries, Health Minister Dasho Dechen Wangmo said that they cannot afford to follow other countries, given the situation.
She said that it is nothing for other countries to lose thousands of lives while it is a lot for Bhutanese to even lose a single life. She asked if anyone is willing to sacrifice people’s lives and are willing to see a few dead bodies, if anyone is willing to lose elderly parents or lose friends and family with co-morbid conditions.
“I as an individual is not ready to see any of these. It can be anyone tomorrow. We are different from others, we are a small nation with just 700,000 people and our health system is not as matured as others. We cannot over night build a 300 bedded hospital,” she added.
She said currently the country is procuring everything from other countries, starting from a small needle, adding that this is the reason why Bhutan cannot be compared with any other countries.
She further got a query asking if she is over reacting or if she is being sensitive to which Lyonpo said she is happy to be overreacting.
“I am happy overreacting and saving lives than under reacting and losing lives. I am happy with my decision in saving lives. If we are not then, that will be a bigger disaster for a country like ours. This is our threshold,” she added.
“People take things lightly, the Omicron variant in particular as being mild, however, they do not realize what would happen if those measures are not taken. And where will the country be if not things are not taken seriously. The country would be counting deaths,” she said.
The journey has been difficult, she said and everything was made possible as everyone was in it together as a nation and this is a collective battle and if we want to win than everyone must fight together. “Otherwise, the country will lose.”
“Look at what other countries have and what Bhutan has and start with population. How much mortality can the country afford? Let us fight together,” she said.