Sharp rise in Covid cases, immediate response warranted

Since the beginning of the month there is a sharp spike in the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the country. With the number of daily active cases on a gradual rise, it is worrying and warrants immediate response from all stakeholders.

The month of COVID disruption have weighed heavily on us all. It’s a wearying, frustrating time however despite the difficulty, we must persevere by using sensible preventive habits. In bordering areas to India except Gelephu, Panbang and Naganglam, infections rates have risen dramatically of late.

The community positive cases continue to pour in from Phuentsholing, Samtse and Samdrup Jongkhar. 100 new cases being detected in last 48 hours in Jomoshangkha dungkhang under Samdrup Jongkhar is an alarming trend that throws cautions.

According to the information from ground officials, it is said that all the cases have had contact with each other directly or indirectly in five successive social gatherings in three communities before the lockdown on 21 May.

Our communities continue to face a preeminent health threat, with the risks now on the increase. If this threat is to be met, we each must act responsibly, for our own protection and that of others. The health experts are sounding a alarm bell that we all need to heed.

The average daily number of COVID cases as per our population is exceeding. This can be an experience of this year at the peak of its cases. This is a really serious situation. We are certainly at risk for the lives of people and for our health systems becoming overwhelmed.

This spike in numbers is most likely among other reasons due to violation of Covid-19 health guidelines which were put in place by Ministry of Health to prevent the spread of the virus.

It is now not uncommon to find zero observance of social distancing in public places or disregard of calls to wear masks or hand sanitizer. Washing hands with soap and clean running water is now a thing of the past.

The best we could do is maintaining the health protocols prescribed by the government. It is the best weapon we have against the virus.

Now, another risk is through people where people still move from dzongkhag to dzongkhag. We got to stop the dzongkhag to dzongkhag movement before it’s late.

Further directives are required for customers patronizing bars and restaurants to remain seated, with table sizes limited to eight people. Wedding and funeral receptions must limit table sizes to eight people.

Public health and other officials and public in the country should sound as alarm about a spike in new cases of the novel coronavirus and act on time.

We are at a critical crossroads. We must decide and choose for ourselves which way to steer so that we reach our cherished destination. Otherwise, the way ahead is bleak.