Letter from the Prime Minister of Bhutan to those in quarantine
My dear friends in quarantine,
Today, the government decided to extend the quarantine period from initial 14 to 21 days. The decision was arrived at purely to align with the COVID-19 response modes we are adopting by the day.
The country is embracing highest preventive approach and as our surveillance picks up more cases from the quarantine facilities, this is one of the ways to minimise possibilities of missing out.
Although incubation period for COVID-19 ranges from 2-14 days, the average being around five days, there are reports of a few “outliers” around the world and this strategy is to pick such cases.
Having said that, we understand it must have come as a dampening news for most of you in the quarantine facilities, who eagerly waited to meet your family and loved ones upon your return to the country.
I write this note to more than 3,400 of you who are in the quarantine facilities in different districts. While I am in touch with some of you on the phone, I hope this post reaches everyone, along with the deep affection and feelings of gratitude I have for you.
Given the life we are used to, it is not easy to be confined in a room for even a day, let alone for three weeks. But this has become the necessity of the hour.
Please know your staying in that room is a great service to the nation, especially around this time when we are all working to prevent the virus from coming into the country. As grateful as we are to all the health officials and others in the frontline, the sacrifices you are making are no less.
Since we initiated the mandatory quarantine, stories that are coming out of the rooms are inspiring, displaying bravery and solidarity only expected of a Bhutanese. You have been feeding exciting updates on social media and I believe one person going live has drawn significant followers. Please keep up the spirit.
But it is not the same for everyone and should you need to consult, please call one of the counsellors we have identified. The numbers are listed below.
These are challenging times and it is not just us but the entire world that is living through this unprecedented journey. But for Bhutan, we have our biggest assurance and comfort in His Majesty The King who is selflessly looking after the people.
So when you walk out of that room at the end of 21 days, hold your head high for you have done your part in serving your King and the country. For now, along with the people of Bhutan, I will pray for your good health.
Dr Lotay Tshering
Numbers of the counsellors: 17123237/ 17123238/ 17123239/ 17123240/ 17123241
Source: Primer Minister’s Office