English | Dzongkha Saturday, July 24, 2021

Bumthang heightens COVID-19 surveillance

Jun 17, 2021

With borders closed, the east-west lateral highway has become the only and the main route for people travelling between the eastern and western parts of the country. Bumthang is at the transit of the highway and most travellers halt their nights in the district. With college students leaving for vacation now, Chamkhar town’s busy bus station has become even more crowded. As the risk of transmitting and exposure to coronavirus is high, the district’s COVID-19 task force is reviewing the old containment measures and implementing restrictions to mitigate the risks. 

“What we have continued is the weekly surveillance of all the people who are at high risk and we also had an entire-Dzongkhag sensitization with the help of RBP and Desuups. That might have done a lot of good but we are continuously seeking help from the individuals. They are equally responsible for supporting the administration,” said Kesang Choden Dorji, the Bumthang Dzongda.

But how responsible are the individuals? According to our reporter Kipchu, not many travellers using the handwashing facility at the bus station. “Hand sanitisers are not used. People step out of the buses and directly head home or enter a taxi or check into a hotel,” he added.

Meanwhile, the night curfew is still active in Bumthang.

“We have decided to continue the 9 pm curfew for a short while since it hasn’t inconvenienced anybody, we feel that it is helping. Likewise, though we don’t call it a restriction, we have requested people who are coming in big groups from outside of Bumthang to communicate with us first so that we know the purpose of their visit to Bumthang, their duration and where they are accommodating,” said the Dzongda.

The district task force has listed additional manpower from regional offices and the Dzongkhag as a backup in case the district experiences an outbreak. About 10 hotels that can accommodate around 400 individuals are identified as quarantine centres. Shelters for victims of domestic violence and stranded people during lockdowns are also prepared.

Besides, regular tests are also conducted for high-risk groups such as students, hotel owners, public transport operators and frontline workers. In addition, people are advised to observe the preventive measures at all times.

Kipchu, Bumthang

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