Bhutanese abroad coming home should consult the embassy concerned: PM

Bhutanese who are returning home should resort to the Bhutanese Embassy in the region and the country concerned, said Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering during a press meet on Thursday.

Lyonchhen also said that the government has shared that if an individual is not able to contact the embassy, they should contact the concerned government official as their contact numbers are posted online.

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) was declared pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 12, many countries in the world has issued a travel ban.

Foreign Minister Dr Tandi Dorji said Bhutan’s entry and exit points are from Kathmandu, Bangkok, Kolkata, and New Delhi and the countries have restricted travel.

Additionally, he said India and Thailand do not have transit issues and Indian Embassy assured to help Bhutanese people if they face any problem while coming to Bhutan from India.

If a Bhutanese studying or working is asked to return to Bhutan, consulting the embassy concerned would address the travel issue, said Lyonchhen.

Moreover, he said some Bhutanese students studying abroad are coming back as their colleges were shut down due to Cornonavirus while those working abroad are going about their daily routine.

However, Lyonchhen said as the disease has become pandemic, those either entering through air or land route into Bhutan have to be compulsorily quarantined for two weeks.

Lyonpo Tandi Dorji said the government is yet to differentiate incoming travelers from high risk countries and low risk countries to decide whether to quarantine in the same center or not.

Lyonchhen also urged the incoming Bhutanese to inform about the countries they have traveled to truthfully and if one is suffering from any symptoms of the Coronavirus.

“It is for our own good, for the country and citizens of the country,” he said, adding that if there is detection of the case then government would treat them accordingly.

According to the Foreign Ministry, the travel ban by the government of India imposed does not apply to Bhutanese, including those going for treatment.

On Bhutanese commuters travelling via Indian route, Lyonpo Dr Tandi Dorji said the Assam and West Bengal states do not have a single detection case of Coronavirus; therefore it is not necessary to quarantine. However, Lyonpo asked the commuters to express truthfully the place they have travelled to.

Traveling in country from Dzongkhag to Dzongkhag, Lyonpo Tandi Dorji said, is not restricted.

Thukten Zangpo from Thimphu