The danger of complacency

For those under a rock in the last few weeks, COVID-19 is knocking hard on our border gates with a number of cases and outbreaks right across the border.

If one looks at a Bhutan, we are virtually surrounded by various states impacted by COVID-19 with the two main ones being West Bengal and Assam but also Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.

In these above Indian states COVID-19 is not just some distant outbreak in the state capitals, but there have been cases all along the border.

If this was not enough Bhutan has around 70 cases of COVID-19 of which 34 have recovered and we are expected to get more as more flights come in.

There are also large numbers of Bhutanese in quarantine.

It is now more than four months since we had our first case and we took a series of measures to prevent large scale community transmission in Bhutan.

The early days saw deserted streets, social distancing and face masks, but as the fear wore off we are almost approaching a ‘normal situation’ but the situation is anything but normal.

Given the regional and global scenario and our still porous borders we can never rule out the possibility of the virus spreading in the community.

It is good that the government had adopted a wise middle path in opening class 10 and 12 and the final year of college with conditions laid down for the opening of classes till 7.

This is apart from relaxing the various other restrictions like the 7 pm rule and working from home or avoiding any gatherings.

We cannot stay completely closed and life must go on, but we must still be very cautious and careful that we do not assume we can let our guard down.

There is a very good reason that His Majesty is still travelling all over Bhutan to secure our borders and our health.

Better to be safe than sorry.      
Samuel Lover

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