Bhutan PM Lotay Tshering

Bhutan will lockdown again from December 23, the Prime Minister announced today after at least 26 new COVID-19 cases in capital Thimphu in the last two days.

“We are announcing a National Lockdown from tomorrow. We have local transmission. The cases that came out yesterday from flu clinics with 5 in Thimphu, 3 in Paro and 1 in Lhamozingkha are due to voluntary testing. These 8 cases are worrying,” Lotay Tshering, the Prime Minister of Bhutan said in his address to the Himalayan Kingdom according to The Bhutanese.

Prime Minister asked the Bhutanese to stay indoors. “The risks this time are much bigger than the last national lockdown. We have no idea on the total cases in Thimphu but know of 26 cases in Thimphu in two days. There are also cases in Paro, Punakha and Lhamozingkha,” The Bhutanese reported quoting Tshering.

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Authorities are preparing to start mass testing in Thimphu, the PM announced.

Prime Minister Tshering outlined how the King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck is worried about the impact of the national lockdown. “But His Majesty said if this is the only way to stop the virus short of a vaccine then the health experts’ views have to prevail,” The Bhutanese reported quoting Prime Minister Tshering.

Bhutan’s Prime Minister said that they have enough testing kits to check more than 100,000 people and can get for 500,000 more whenever there is a need.

As per a bulletin by Ministry of Health of the Himalayan Kingdom on December 22, the total number of COVID-19 cases stood at 479 out of which 430 have recovered. Bhutan is yet to record a COVID-19 fatality.

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