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Parliamentary Committee on COVID19 Preparedness and Responses Advises the Government

Posted on :17 March 2020

In the meeting conducted on the 16 March 2020, the Committee to the Parliamentary Committee on COVID 19 preparedness and responses advises the government with following the recommendations. The Committee has forwarded the first advisory to the Chairperson of the National Council, Speaker of the National Assembly and the Opposition leader for feedback. 

 

The Committee has forwarded the first advisory to the Chairperson of the National Council, Speaker of the National Assembly and the Opposition leader for feedback.  

 

1.            Evacuation of Bhutanese Outside

Given that many countries are closing schools, colleges and workplaces and encouraging students and employees to leave for their home countries, many countries are resorting to the evacuation of their citizens through various ways including chartered flights. 

                Recommendation:

The Committee recommends the Government to initiate similar measures of evacuation including those in Iraq and other Middle East countries.

 

2.            Extension of Tourist Restriction

Considering the global and regional situation of ever flaring spread of COVID19, many governments have restricted issuance of visas and suspended flights.

Recommendation:

The Committee recommends the Government to continue the suspension of tourist visa for another one week and review weekly thereafter.

 

3.                   Strengthening Information Declaration and Quarantine

While protocols and measures have been put in place for information declaration, screening and quarantine, some cases of false declaration and non-adherence to home quarantine have been found thereby posing a serious threat to the society.

Recommendation:

The Committee recommends the Government to invoke sections 410, 411, 426 and 427 of Penal Code of Bhutan and strictly implement information declaration and quarantine. 

 

4.                   Mapping Dzongkhag Demographic Profile

Senior citizens and people with pre-existing health conditions are more vulnerable to fatalities than other groups. 

Recommendation:

The Committee recommends the Government to carry out demographic mapping of all Dzongkhags and identify vulnerable segments and prepare health measures accordingly.

 

5.                   Defining Mass Gathering 

The mass gathering is considered one of the risky modes of transmission as evidenced by the spread of the virus in several countries. The definition of mass gathering differs from 50 to 1000 people.

Recommendation:

The Committee recommends the Government to clearly define the number of people that would constitute a mass gathering.

 

6.     Setting Timeframe for Contingency Plan Committee Works

The Government has announced institutions of some committees to work on various contingency plans should we fall into Red Zone (Lockdown stage). However, it is not clear at what stages the preparations of these plans are.

 Recommendation:

The Committee recommends the Government to set a clear timeframe for preparation of these plans and finalize at the earliest.

 

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