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His Majesty’s loud and clear message, ‘save lives’: PM

… Prime Minister retraces His Majesty’s directions on His Majesty’s Birth Anniversary

Puran Gurung

Underscoring the messages from His Majesty The King’s Royal Tour in the South and areas most affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering conveyed that His Majesty’s loud and clear message was to ‘save lives’ during the pandemic.

At all times, His Majesty commands saving lives during the COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest objective for the country, and that it is the biggest hopes and aspirations of the people.

Today, all sections of the society understand about the coronavirus disease more than any other diseases we know today, said the Lyonchhen. “His Majesty has been following all about the coronavirus across the world,” said Lyonchhen, adding that His Majesty has been constantly guiding the way forward for the government to fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.

As is common amongst the people about the knowledge of the Omicron about its less severity as compared to other variants, however, Lyonchhen said that His Majesty The King expressed that the inoculation of vaccines have immunized people against the virus and also reducing the harmful effects of the virus.

His Majesty also expressed that lockdowns and movement restrictions can only help to flatten the curve of transmission, said Lyonchhen.

Since the advent of the outbreak in the country, His Majesty has offered relief measures such as grocery and monetary benefits to more than 52,000 individuals and 7,000 children to offset socio-economic implications, said Lyonchhen. So much relief measures have been offered by His Majesty yet people still suffer, their lives are disrupted as movements are restricted, His Majesty is aware of all these disruptions affecting lives and livelihoods, said Lyonchhen and added that the ‘government is constantly advised to ease the situation for the citizens’.

His Majesty has advised the government on the varying variants that will continuously surface in times to come as is evident so far with four variants that hit the country. “As waves of varying variants will continue, His Majesty has commanded the government to revise COVID-19 protocols continuously,” said Lyonchhen.

His Majesty is overwhelmed by the situation of Phuentsholing residents, it is hard to see a win-win situation for Phuentsholing residents owing to the commercial hub status of the town, however, lives of about 22,000 are at stake and protocols are of utmost importance, and this has led to convert the RIGSS building into a hospital, earlier it was SC19TF headquarters, said Lyonchhen. Additionally, His Majesty has also commanded to bring additional health professionals to the newly converted RIGSS hospital. “We have been commanded by His Majesty to do everything possible to ease the lives of our people,” said Lyonchhen. Lyonchhen added ‘a total of 11 health professionals will be shifted to RIGSS hospital from Thimphu’.

The Prime Minister highlighted about the virus that it may not be affecting severely and hospitalizing them, however, it is taking adverse toll in the health of individuals with underlying illnesses. “There are over 60,000 people living with underlying illnesses, and COVID-19 deaths has been occurring for diabetic patients,” said the Prime Minister. “There are also about 200 patients under critical situation with underlying illnesses,” added the Prime Minister.

People have varying opinions about the movement restrictions in the country, many criticise the government for the same, however, there are equally people telling the government to keep the movement restrictions intact reiterating along the lines that ‘saving lives’ is crucial because rebuilding livelihoods is possible as the pandemic ebbs away from our societies across the world, and from the country.

His Majesty has commanded the country must do everything to ease the lives and livelihoods of the people, and movement restrictions are of utmost importance to flatten the curve of transmission, and that the Bhutanese people are compassionate and cooperative to follow guidelines, said the Prime Minister. At such times, problems of every sort is expected, the best is to offer relief measures to the best of ability, this was expressed to the Prime Minister by His Majesty The King.

The government has been constantly guided by His Majesty’s vision. “We truly get the meaning and idea of what are parents and their advices as we are guided by His Majesty,” said Lyonchhen.

His Majesty has advised the government to follow the global trends on coronavirus protocols, and to adopt the best for the country. However, some countries have gone as far as letting citizens move out without masks and other protocols, and many of these countries have faced unmanageable distress and if we follow suit, this will pose a great threat for our country, said the Prime Minister. “Even a 100-200 patients with severe illness will cause great distress to our health infrastructure,” said the Prime Minister.

His Majesty has commanded the health to secure vaccines for children between 5 and 11 years because the virus will greatly affects the lives of the children.

The Ministry of Health and Ministry of Foreign Affairs has done everything possible to procure the vaccines, the vaccines will arrive in the country on February 28. The vaccines will be distributed across the country and the first dose will be administered in about 10 days, second dose would be given in two-three weeks later and schools opening has been rescheduled to mid-April, said Lyonchhen.

Meanwhile, Lyonchhen said once the pandemic ebbs and comes to endemic, there will be no movement restrictions in the country, and across the world.

With the pandemic restrictions lifted across the world, the government will set afoot to all of His Majesty’s vision to steer the country’s prosperity.

The Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering expressed joy and health on the 42nd Birth Anniversary of His Majesty The King from all the citizens. 

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