Due to reports of COVID19 positive cases, the border town of Phuentsholing in Bhutan has been declared as red zone.

Phuentsholing is a border town in southern Bhutan and is the administrative seat of Chukha district.

It adjoins the Indian town of Jaigaon in Alipurduar district of West Bengal.

“Phuentsholing is now declared as red zone. The entire nation is in a lockdown but additional restrictions and surveillance will be enforced in the district starting today,” Bhutan PM, Dr Lotay Tshering tweeted on Thursday.

The Bhutan government announced nationwide lockdown with effect from August 11, following the report of a COVID19 positive case in Gelephu, who came in close contact with people in Thimphu, Gelephu, Paro and those along the way.

The government on Tuesday enforced restrictions on the movement of people and vehicles within the Dzongkhags and beyond.

Everyone has been asked to stay home to protect themselves and their families from the disease, should there be undetected, rampant transmissions.

“All schools, institutions, offices and commercial establishments will remain closed,” said the Bhutan government.

“Ongoing exams will be postponed, while the students and trainees in boarding facilities should continue to remain on campus and follow COVID-19 protocols,” the government said.

Meanwhile, the National COVID-19 Grievance Redressal Help-Desk has been activated at 2 pm on Thursday.

The Bhuan PM has urged the people of the country to call toll free number 1023 from 9 am-9 pm.

“The help desk will be open on all days,” the Bhutan PM said.

“It’s the third day since the enforcement of lockdown and I hope you all are keeping well. We have reports of more positive cases coming out of the mini dry-port in Phuentsholing,” Dr Tshering said.

“Our frontline workers have gone all out to trace further contacts. Other measures are also being enforced. We will update you with all facts and figures as soon as the teams working on it are ready,” he said.

“On our part, under the benevolent guidance of His Majesty The King, we are doing our best to contain further transmission of the disease,” the PM said.

As is the nature of all drastic measures, the lockdown which restricts the movement of any kind sprouts many challenges.

“We are working hard to arrive at solutions within the limitations posed by the disease as soon as possible. Please take care of yourself and your loved ones,” Dr Tshering further said.

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