Bhutan imposes nationwide lockdown to curb COVID-19 spread

THIMPHU: The Bhutan government has imposed a nationwide lockdown starting from Tuesday after a locally transmitted COVID-19 case was reported.

In an address to the nation on Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Lotay Tshering said the positive case was reported in Gelephu town and the female patient had come in close contact with many people in Paro, Thimphu and several other places, reports a news agency.

He said after medication and isolation, the patient was declared recovered. But she tested positive again on Monday after being at home for 15 days.

During this time, she travelled to different places and visited relatives.

From Monday evening to Tuesday morning, health authorities managed to trace 71 contacts who came in close contact with the patient.

Lotay said the government is enforcing restrictions on movement of people and vehicles.

All schools, institutions, offices and commercial establishments will remain closed, he added.

Lotay said that the lockdown has been enforced to identify and isolate all positive cases to immediately break the chain of transmission.

The Prime Minister also urged people not to panic and that food supplies will be available at doorsteps.

Lotay said the lockdown is expected to last between five days to a maximum of three weeks.

As of Tuesday, Bhutan has a total of 113 positive cases.

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