If there are Bhutanese still living across the border, in Jaigaon, India they should report to the COVID-19 task force in Phuentsholing and come home
Thimphu: If there are Bhutanese still living across the border, in Jaigaon, India they should report to the COVID-19 task force in Phuentsholing and come home.
This is the message from Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering after five COVID-19 positive cases were reported in Jaigaon yesterday.
Lyonchhen said that currently, by record, there should be no Bhutanese residing in Jaigaon. However, in case there are any still living across the border, the government would facilitate their return as per the command of His Majesty The King.
“Any Bhutanese is always welcome to return and we are here to facilitate that. They should not worry and immediately contact the local task force so that they can assist in their return,” Lyonchhen said.
Lyonchhen said that the government will treat Jaigaon like any other affected area and people coming from the place would be subjective to the mandatory 21-day quarantine period.
On the government’s strategy and preparedness plan, the Prime Minister said that there would be no changes to the existing plans and strategies.
“For the last five to six months, we have been on the highest alert mode in assumption of such a situation across the border.” However, he said that with the virus closing in, the public needs to be extra careful and cannot afford to be complacent.
“My request to the people would be to avoid meeting strangers and to practice the health advisories strictly,” Lyonchhen said.
Health Minister Dechen Wangmo said that the health team is closely monitoring the situation in Phuentsholing and with the virus coming closer; the existing surveillance would be further strengthened.
“We have to consider and prepare for a community transmission as it is inevitable for us with the rate at which things are changing across our border,” she said.
Lyonpo said that the threat is not just from Jaigaon, which is why strict surveillance across all communities along the border areas are underway. Any change to the strategies and plans would depend on the unfolding situations across the border, the minister added.
With Jaigaon being the largest cross-border neighbouring town, which borders with Phuentsholing, country’s largest commercial hub, residents in Phuentsholing have taken the news as a strong caution.
One resident said that Phuentsholing has become risky. “Vehicles keep coming from Jaigaon and there is more risk now,” he said, adding that people have to be extra alert round the clock.
“However, the government is doing everything and it is now people’s turn to show utmost caution among themselves.”