Samtse Dzong(Left) and Samdrupjongkhar Dzong (Right)

Southern Dzongkhags unlock smoothly as people provide full cooperation

Dzongkhag heads from four southern Dzongkhags along the border shared that people are very cooperative with the implementation of unlocking phase one. They have shared how careful people are in handling the situation now.

Chukha, Sarpang, Samdrupjongkhar and Samtse Dzongkhags have shared their do’ and don’ts of unlocking phase one which is from 6 January to 12 January 2021. Their do’s allows intra Dzongkhag movement on foot, facilitation of import and export, opening of shops till 7 PM, 7 days quarantine for stranded people who wish to travel out and for those who come from affected Dzongkhags.

However, their don’ts does not allow games and sports, opening of schools, no sitting and eating in restaurants and a few more.    

Chukha Dzongda Minjur Dorji said that they have not come across any issue after the implementation of unlocking; however, few people have come to them asking if they can conduct their annual ritual at home. But they have deferred their request as per the notification issued, he said.

He said, “No people are allowed to sit and eat in hotels or restaurants and therefore we are monitoring hotels along the highways so that they do not breach the rules. Generally, the compliance is good but there are a few people who do not ware facemask when they come out.”

They have facilitated around 42 stranded people who have their own private cars since the lockdown and they are still facilitating. For those who do not have their own private car, he said that they are still stranded in the Dzongkhag.

He said, “Due to no public transportation it is difficult for us to facilitate. However, we said that we will be able to facilitate if they can arrange their own transportation from Chuzom. We will be able to arrange transportation only till Chuzom and not beyond due to restriction in inter-district movement.”

After lifting the lockdown, few people from Thimphu have come and those are under home quarantine. From 21 December to 31 December, they have tested 6,178 people under the Dzongkhag.

Sarpang Dzongda Lobzang Dorji said that people now understand the situation and the impact of local transmission for which they are abiding by the notifications on dos’ and don’ts of unlocking.

“So far so good and no serious violations were reported. Everything is going good and as planned,” he added.

Sarpang Dzongkhag has facilitated 15 people on emergency grounds and four people have come from Paro who are under quarantine. They have tested 4,598 people since the implementation of the second lockdown.   

Samdrup Jongkhar Dzongda Tharchin Lhendup said, “Everything is going smoothly and there has been no issue since the unlocking day. The only issue we have is people coming and asking for vehicle movement permit, however we allow only those with emergencies. People are disciplined and we are monitoring strictly.”

They have facilitated around 35 stranded people and so far three people came from Thimphu who are being quarantined in quarantine facility. During the second lockdown, they have tested 700 people so far.

Samtse Dzongda Passang Dorji shared that, “Due to adequate information sharing, people are cooperative and no issues have come up so far since the day of unlocking. We have tested 48 people working at dry-port on 7 January 2021 and all came negative.”

They are monitoring everything strictly and for now they have 28 people who have come from Paro and Thimphu who are being home quarantined. He said that community and their neighbors are watching those under home quarantine and no one has complained so far.

In addition, they have facilitated 40 stranded people with 12 vehicles until before the implementation of unlocking. He said, “Since second lockdown, we have tested around 490 people so far. It is a continuous process and we will keep doing it.”     

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