His Majesty The King arrived in Thimphu yesterday, after concluding a tour of the high risk areas along the eastern and southern border, and entered quarantine as per COVID protocol. His Majesty was accompanied by His Royal Highness Gyaltshab Jigme Dorji and the Prime Minister, Lyonchen Dasho Lotay Tshering.
His Majesty was in Phuentsholing since June 15, and visited Samtse yesterday.
Besides granting Audiences to the Southern COVID-19 task force in Phuentsholing and the Samtse Covid-19 Task force, His Majesty also granted an Audience to Desuups who are participating in an ICT course as part of the Desuung Skilling Programme in Samtse. The Desuung Skilling Programme was initiated to equip youth with useful skills and to give them an opportunity to serve in National Service projects during the Pandemic.
While in the east, His Majesty trekked along the eastern border from Merak to Jomotshangkha, and then travelled to Samdrup Jongkhar.
In Samdrup Jongkhar, His Majesty visited the Desuung National Service water project, where 60 Desuups are working with the Thromde and RBA personnel to build water supply infrastructure for the town. The project is expected to benefit over 1,500 residents.
In the east His Majesty had started the trek from Merak on June 8, accompanied by His Royal Highness Gyaltshab Jigme Dorji and the Prime Minister, Lyonchen Dasho Dr Lotay. His Majesty visited the border points-of-entries and outposts manned by Desuups, RBP personnel, and in one case, a retired police personnel. The entire route, from Merak to Tshothang, is over 67 kilometres long. There have been frequent interactions between people across the porous border in the past, even in summer when there are leeches and swollen streams.
Besides inspecting the border outposts, His Majesty also expressed concerns on the impact that the pandemic and border closure has had on the livelihoods of the people who depend on these interactions.
His Majesty arrived in Jomotshangkha on 13th June, which has been in lockdown since May 21. The Dungkhag is working to ease lockdown as the situation is being brought under control.
His Majesty began a royal tour of the east from June 7 to inspect measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, following the several outbreaks and lockdowns in different places in the east recently.