Lives over Livelihood

With the second dose being given to around 65 percent of the population there is now increasing pressure on the government from various quarters for relaxations.

There are nudges and pushes and pulls from many sectors.

This in the backdrop of the government on the verge of completing its third year in office, and as the political race starts to heat up for 2023.

However, the government must continue to prioritize the prevention of infection of Bhutanese by COVID-19, as increasing cases and examples in other countries show the ability of the delta variant to even cut through vaccinated populations.

The world is coming to a rude conclusion that it is not enough to be vaccinated, but one must combine it with strict COVID-19 protocols.

This is something where Bhutan has really done well and must continue to keep up the good practices, otherwise we may end up losing all the hard work.

While politics is always tempting, the government must realize that people will ultimately reward it for keeping the virus out of Bhutan.

The way forward is to first achieve full herd immunity of at least 80 percent, then study the global and regional scenario and also how the delta variant and other variants of concern are behaving, and only then think of relaxations.

In that sense, the government is on the right path by taking a cautious and scientific approach to any potential relaxations.

Already, world over, we are seeing many countries suffering with a large spurt in cases and even deaths with the delta variant undoing a lot of their good work, only because they opened up too early.

The government must continue to focus on vaccinating those from 12 to 17 and then in the next stage prepare to vaccinate those from 11 to five as vaccine trials are going on in this age category.

This COVID virus has shown time and again that it is unforgiving to those who are complacent and those who celebrate too early.

Bhutan needs to keep its guard up and not let the virus in for our collective sake.

“Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
 Alexander Pope

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