Jump in imported COVID-19 cases leads to stop in labour import permits

A sudden surge of imported cases of COVID-19 from the quarantine has created panic among the general public. After detecting 82 cases on 7th January from the quarantine which are all imported, the public feels that the government must stop importing expat workers for a while since neighboring Indian states report an increasing number of Omicron variant cases.

As per the MoH’s COVID-19 update, from the 82 positive cases, 12 are Bhutanese and 70 are Non-Bhutanese.

All the imported cases had recently arrived from abroad. Gelephu has reported one imported case, Phuentsholing had reported seven imported cases and one from the community. Thimphu had reported seven and 66 in Wangduephodrang which is the highest number of imported cases.

 The official from the Prime Minister’s Office said that maximum of the imported cases are expat workers and 12 Bhutanese are those who have returned from India for treatment, their attendee and students.

Those 66 cases detected in Wangduephodrang are expat workers sent to hydro project sites where they are being kept in quarantine. 

Given such high numbers and an Omicron surge in India, all permits to import labourers has been put on hold for now.

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