Despite repeated plea by general public not to import foreign workers during the pandemic surge in India, our government on a loose note have kept on importing workers.
While there was a nagging need for extra manpower in our starved construction industry, people had cautioned that it was a ticking time bomb and not worth the gamble.
Of course the objective of importing still limited workers is to solve labour shortage in construction site due to COVID-19 crisis. The construction section is left far behind due to acute labour shortage.
Transmission of virus in Bhutan was never a local phenomenon that originated in a Bhutanese having no travel history. It was transmitted through expatriate workers or possibly could be from Bhutanese returning from overseas. But there is no record of virus having transmitted from Bhutanese returning home. They were taken care and they were disciplined.
With not tightening the import of foreign workers, the price is the virus. The recent local transmission in Phuntsholing that have led to another lockdown in Thromde and satellite towns is believed to have caught up from two foreign workers.
A policewoman and two DeSuups tested positive for COVID-19 on 16 April where they were on quarantine duty in the same hotel in Phuntsholing.
After only virus started to spread, the government has decided to temporarily suspend the import of expatriate workers. It was by then too little too late.
We have been witnessing a spike in COVID-19 positive cases in India, increasing in thousands and dying in thousands. In Assam and West Bengal the positive case is in alarming rate.
There was high risk of importing the virus into the country with the influx of Indian workers.
The 10-year-old boy in Phuntsholing visited the flu clinic with symptoms on Friday tested positive. An innocent family is caught by virus who doesn’t have any recent travel history. From where and how were they infected?
As a traced source, one may say the particular family is the source of local transmission. But in reality, how they would be infected without contacting other infected person? Phuntsholing is border town and foreign workers are imported through this particular transit.
According to the notification of National Covid-19 Taskforce, all business entities, school and offices will remain close, no sporting events will be allowed. All the construction activities will be suspended. And new registration for quarantine will be suspended. Now normal lives of people will be disturbed though good cause.
This should not have happened and labour import should have been suspended long back.