The King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar, addressed his nation today regarding the COVID-19 outbreak saying that from Monday, Bhutan’s borders would be closed.
“Starting tomorrow, our land borders will be sealed.
“We are compelled to take this drastic measure in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. As you have been made aware through various government bulletins, the virus is spreading, causing immense disruption worldwide, and drawing closer to us each day,” he said.
His Majesty also stressed that this was to safeguard the Bhutanese people, “At such a time, the health and safety of the people of Bhutan is of the greatest priority, and as such, we are putting in place every measure necessary to safeguard the people of Bhutan.”
Bhutanese citizens who are overseas will receive help from the government in returning home. The King asked those who work or study abroad to not worry.
He did touch on the economic repercussions the deadly virus will have on Bhutan; His Majesty remarked, “At such a time, we must exhibit the strength that comes out of our smallness, remain united and support one another. During such exceptional circumstances, the government will take the responsibility of alleviating any suffering to the people due to the virus.”
Schools in Bhutan are closed, and King Jigme Khesar said it is not known when they will reopen. The government will provide learning materials to students. He asked parents to instruct their children at home, and he asked children to learn on their own saying, “At your age, education should be your most important concern. Do not waste time.”
The King concluded by stating, “As a small country with a small population, we can overcome any challenge we are faced with, if the people and the government work together.”
“It is important, however, to not lose sight of our national objectives, and aim to bring normalcy as soon as possible so that when this pandemic is behind us, we can continue to work on making our future better and stronger. In the meantime, we will continue to work ceaselessly through this challenging situation.”
Bhutan has two active cases of COVID-19.