Paro dzongkhag implements facemask use

Paro dzongkhag has made it mandatory for people to use facemasks while going out.

The Dzongkhag started implementing the rule last month when the government announced that people are encouraged to use facemasks.

Paro Dzongda Tenzin Thinley said that the dzongkhag has encouraged people to wear mask as precautionary measure.

A police official at Paro said that they are following government directives to use face masks when they go out.

“Paro is one of the vulnerable places for the disease transmission because many COVID-19 positive cases are being detected at the Paro quarantine facility and also because Paro is a point of entry,” said the police official.     

To prevent community transmission people are encouraged to wear masks when they come out from home.

The dzongkhag had initially made the rule that visitors to Sunday vegetable market should wear masks, but with increasing number of positive cases coming from Paro quarantine facilities, the authorities are enforcing wearing of masks in town as well.

“Now we encourage people to wear masks in town,” he said.

In the Sunday vegetable market if visitors are seen not wearing a mask, the volunteers do not allow them inside the market. In the town, if people are seen not wearing mask, volunteers ask them to wear mask.

Police officials said that some people are very cooperative while others could not care less.

During the COVID-19 press brief on Wednesday, the Health Minister, Dechen Wangmo said that the ministry encourages people to use face mask whenever people have to visit crowded areas. “It will benefit them.”

“From our side it is a recommendation to use facemask while out. And most of the people are seen using facemask which is a good habit,” Lyonpo said.

Lyonpo said that if there is community transmission, then it will be mandatory for people to use the facemask.

However, Lyonpo mentioned that if there is community transmission in isolated places for instances Lunana, the government will supply the masks.

Lyonpo said that currently, masks are available in urban areas. “If people make habit of wearing mask now, it will benefit everyone. Earlier the better,” Lyonpo said.

Lyonpo said that in the border area they urge people to use facemask since lockdown has been eased in the bordering towns and number of cases across the border area has increased.

Dechen Dolkar from Thimphu