His Majesty The King entered 7-day facility quarantine having arrived in Thimphu on 9th March from a tour of the southern dzongkhags.
During the tour which began on 1st March, His Majesty travelled to Trongsa, Gelephu, Samtse, Tendruk, Tashichhoeling, Gomtu and Phuentsholing, and met with the different COVID-19 Task Force teams, government officials, health workers, Desuups and others working in the frontlines.
His Majesty thanked everyone for having worked diligently so far to contain the pandemic and address the issues caused by it to the people. Pointing out that this represents one of the greatest adversities we face as a nation in modern times, His Majesty also encouraged the different frontline teams to remain vigilant as they continued to serve the nation.
While in Phuentsholing on March 7 and 8, His Majesty visited areas close to the international border, the Amochu Boulder Export Containment Facility, MDP, Ahlay Land Customs Checkpoint and Pasakha Dry Port under construction. His Majesty held meetings with the Southern COVID-19 Task Force and granted Audiences to the Phuentsholing Hospital Staff and Phuentsholing Dungkhag officials.
Enroute to Phuentsholing from Samtse earlier, His Majesty visited the points of entries (POEs) along the border surveilled by teams of Desuups along with personnel from the armed forces and government agencies. His Majesty granted Audiences to the staff of Gomtu hospital and the Gomtu COVID-19 sub task force and other officials in Gomtu.
While in Samtse on March 5 and 6, His Majesty granted Audiences to the Samtse COVID-19 Task Force and other public servants in the dzongkhag, the staff of Samtse Hospital, and Desuups of the 44th Batch Accelerated Training Programme in Tendruk and in Tashichhoeling. His Majesty also visited the Gyalsung site under development in Jamtsholing.
On 4th March, His Majesty granted Audiences to the Gelephu COVID-19 task force and other officials, and Gelephu Hospital staff, and the Desuups of the 44th Batch Accelerated Training Programme in Jigmeling and in Pelrithang. His Majesty visited the border, the Gyalsung site under development in Tareythang, and proposed sites for upcoming Desuung National Service Water Projects while in Gelephu.
His Majesty travelled to Gelephu on March 3 from Trongsa, stopping to meet with the Zhemgang Dzongkhag COVID-19 Task Force at Tingtibi on the way.
While in Trongsa, His Majesty spent the night camped at Dangdung, near the Water Project site, to spend time with the Desuups working on the Project.
Part of the Desuung National Service, the Dangdung Project has 45 Desuups who were trained in the 42nd and 43rd Desuung specialized training, building infrastructure to supply drinking water to over 66 households in Dangdung. As with all ongoing National Service Water Projects, Desuups are supported by the RBA, dzongkhag engineers and the ministry of agriculture.
While in Dangdung, His Majesty visited the Dangdung Yulsar Lhakhang to offer prayers, and met with the community who had gathered at the Lhakhang to offer Tshogchang to His Majesty. His Majesty arrived in Dangdung on 2nd March, after meeting with the Trongsa dzongkhag COVID-19 Task force and other public servants working in the dzongkhag.
His Majesty also thanked the Desuups at the Water Project site and those training for the 44th Batch in the 4 different sites, for their volunteerism at a time when the country needed them the most. Along with the Desuups, His Majesty expressed appreciation for the Armed Forces, whose role in providing continued support both for training and subsequent deployments and Desuung Projects, has ensured that every Desuung endeavour has been a success so far.
The 44th Batch Accelerated Training programme began on 14th February in 7 different centres across the country simultaneously. 1758 men and women participated in the programme, and after concluding their training on 6th March, have taken the total number of Desuups in the country to 20,099. His Majesty granted Audiences to the Desuups at training centres in Tencholing, Paro Shaba, and Chhukha in February.
His Royal Highness Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck, who has been serving in Gelephu as Gyaltshab, accompanied His Majesty during the tour. The agriculture minister and members of Parliament from Trongsa accompanied His Majesty in Trongsa and Zhemgang, and the economics affairs minister accompanied His Majesty in Samtse, joined by the minister for works and human settlement in Phuentsholing.