On movement, funerals and LPG

The government has expressed its thanks for the support and cooperation received from the people during the second lockdown.

Although the lockdown brings much inconvenience to the people, however, the second lockdown is seen as a crucial measure to stop the outbreak of further community transmission. In order to address the issues faced by the people, the government has formed regional taskforce with dzongkhag heads to coordinate a smooth lockdown. 

Despites a few hiccups during implementation of the second lockdown, the people are supportive, the government shared, and expects the continued cooperation from the people.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Tandi Dorji, said that problems with the supply of essential items to the people and vehicles stranded in different dzongkhags, and domestic violence cases are also of concern.

However, he said, “To stop or curb down the risk of further community transmission, we have to focus on the lockdown. Whatever issues are reported through 1010, we make sure to resolve them as soon as possible.”  

The maximum issues registered are of people and vehicles being stranded in various dzongkhags and they claim the need of travelling to their respective dzongkhags.

“Everyone of us knows that the spread of virus is still unknown and the number is increasing each day. So the risk is quite high, and therefore, we urge everyone to refrain from travelling and we will not allow travelling at this juncture,” Lyonpo Tandi Dorji added.

He further urged the stranded people to remain wherever they are at the moment. Those who are stranded in Thimphu will not be allowed to move out for at least for one week (since the implementation of Thimphu lockdown) due to the intensive testing and on going mass screening of people.

Likewise, in other districts, Lyonpo said that it is just Day 3 of the lockdown, whereby the stranded travellers will have to remain there for another few days until further notice on travel.

He added that only genuine reasons, like a death of a family member or medical emergencies, would be entertained for travel movement.

Lyonpo said, “But inquiry will be done before allowing their movement. Otherwise, we will want people to remain at the place where they got stranded.”

Meanwhile, the people who have registered to travel from high-risk areas to low-risk areas and who are undergoing quarantine way before the lockdown will be allowed to travel. “They will be tested after completing their quarantine, and accordingly, they will be facilitated to move to their designated places. We have informed the regional taskforce on this matter,” he said.

Though people are allowed to move within their assigned zones, the government urges the people to stay home unless it is urgent, as the risks are still high. Mass testing has begun and unless the testing is done completely, none of the zones can be declared as safe zones.

Lyonpo said that if anyone from any of the zones tests positive for COVID-19 then the area will be than declared as a red zone. Residents in the red zones have been asked to bear with the restrictions, as mass testing has to be completed to ensure there is zero local transmission.

“We thank hoteliers for providing their hotels as  quarantine facilities while some are as a place for frontliners to stay. Some have charged a small amount while some have provided the facility for free of cost,” he added.

More than 3,000 people have applied for the zoning movement cards as some of them have either lost the cards issued during the first lockdown or moved to a different address.

The Foreign Minister said that the National Taskforce has decided that people cannot bring bodies to the Thimphu funeral ground and to conduct the funeral in your own Dzongkhags. This is given the risks due to people gathering. Also only three bodies can be burnt in a day and only 10 people per body is allowed. In Thimphu the Red Cross will be helping and the minister requested people to cooperate with them

He said to solve LPG issues they have plans to either distribute it to households or establish places within the zones where people can exchange them. The minister said this will start soon.

Lyonpo said there are complaints that in certain zones that vegetables, meat and dairy products are not available.

“The National Task Force has discussed this and we will put in place structures to sell meat and dairy products. Give us two to three days. For vegetables the Agriculture Ministry is getting vegetables from the warmer places and if they are not enough then we will import them. Please bear with us for a few days” said Lyonpo.

On Friday morning the Agriculture Minister Lyonpo Yeshey Penjor said 7 DCM trucks, 3 Boleros of local vegetable, 13 truckloads of imported vegetables have just arrived in Thimphu. He said that by Friday afternoon, there should be fresh vegetables in the respective zone shops.

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