UK Baroness lauds Bhutan’s effort in fighting Covid-19

May 22|Kuensel
By Ugyen Penjore

 Pays tribute to His Majesty in the House of Lord

Bhutan’s  successful  handling of  the  novel  coronavirus  has caught  the  attention  of  many countries and leaders with all praising  the  initiatives  led  by His Majesty The King.

The latest was in the House of  Lords  debates  on  Monday, May 18, where Baroness Buscombe, the Under-Secretary of State  for  Work  and  Pensions, United Kingdom, paid tribute to  His  Majesty  The  King  and congratulated  Bhutan’s  effort to  control  the  Covid-19  pandemic in a statement.

“My  Lords,  I  pay  tribute to  the  King  of  Bhutan  and his  people  for  their  amazing fortitude  and  smart  response to  the  virus,”  said  the  Baroness,  Peta  Jane  Buscombe,  a Conservative  member  of  the House of Lords.

Debates  in  the  House  of Lords  are  an  opportunity  for Peers from all parties to scrutinise  government  legislation and raise important local, national or topical issues.

On  Monday,  one  session or  debate  was  on  the  motion to  consider  the  international response on Covid-19, “Covid-19: International Response.”

In her statement, the Baroness  said  that  on  March  6,she  had  witnessed  the  government’s decisive action following one suspected case: a tourist who had travelled from India. “Within 24 hours, every tourist was traced and tracked, and we were contacted daily thereafter.  All citizens were asked   to   socially   distance themselves, while trucks travelled across the land distributing sanitizer,” she stated.

Referring  to  the  preparedness,  the  Baroness  stated that  a  quarantine  period  of 14  days  kicked  in  for  arrivals across  the  borders  and  all  incoming  tourist  flights  ceased, thereby avoiding a wide-scale lockdown  across  the  country.  “Philanthropic  hoteliers and businessmen  supported their efforts and, in stark contrast  to  our  Commons  colleagues,  all  MPs  (member  of parliament) donated a month’s salary  to  the  cause,”  she  informed the House.

“The   king   immediately rolled  up  his  sleeves,  working with  doctors  and  encouraging  anyone  feeling  unwell  to attend  clinics.  He continues to  work  tirelessly  across  the country.”

Highlighting  the  national preparedness  in  the  wake  of the  Covid-19  pandemic,  Baroness  Buscome  stated  that  a national  preparedness  and response  plan,  together  with an   emergency   committee, had  already  been  devised  in late  February,  and  that both the Prime Minister and Health Minister were formerly public health officials.

“Following  an  evidence-based  approach  of  testing, effective   quarantines,   and border control,  Bhutan  has been able to avoid overloading its  limited  healthcare  system. The under-resourced nation’s response, led  by  science  and quick preventative action, has been fortified by its traditional communal  values,  which  has seen its king, citizens, and government  work  in  lockstep  to support the nation,” she stated.

“I  hope  my  noble  friend the  Minister  will  join  me  in congratulating  the  people  of Bhutan and wishing them safe and well for the future.”

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