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CO VID 19 Hits the tiny Himalayan kingdom

Posted by Tashi on Tue March 10, 2020 in Travel Tips to Bhutan.

Bhutan is now fighting against the spread of deadly virus by closing down the schools and institutions, government distributing free face mask and hand sanitizer, creating awareness at all levels of the people, building numerous flu clinic in all regions, and citizens at all level volunteering to help contain the virus and stop spreading.

Bhutan is fully prepared to contain and mitigate the spread of the deadly virus called COVID - 19.

Bhutan a tiny Himalayan kingdom was not saved by the spread of deadly virus. The first case of the Coronavirus in Bhutan was detected on an American tourist on the 5th March after he initially complained of nausea, upset stomach and diarrhea.  After testing positive for the virus, the tourist was immediately shifted to a separate unit at the National hospital in Thimphu, and including health personnel he was attended to by our King and Prime Minister who is a doctor by profession. Our King spent the whole night at the hospital making sure that the American was well taken care of and received the best medical care.

Amid the depressing global Coronavirus pandemic, the landscape of Bhutan is coming alive with the budding of the flowers, peach blossoms dotting the countryside, and forests of Rhododendron flowers blooming red, pink, white, yellow and all the beautiful colors of Spring. The most celebrated Paro Festival is just round the corner (4-8 April) and this is one of the biggest local event of the year attracting thousands of tourists from all over the world. However for this year maybe only the Bhutanese will be participating in the festivities making the locals miss the ever bustling of tourist scrambling for the best seats at the Festival.   

Confirming with the response plan, the Government has imposed a two weeks restrictions on all incoming tourists till 20th March. Stake holders of the Tourism Industry was hit the hardest with flights cancelled, hotel reservations cancelled, tour guides and drivers let off until 20th March. For Bhutan Swallowtail too it is a sad week as we had to cancel all tourists scheduled to arrive before the 20th and we are in the process of refunding all 100% of the tour costs. Hopefully after 21st March the COVID-19 situation will subside and business can resume as usual. 

Being a Buddhist country with spiritualism and compassion at its core, the Central Monastic Body and numerous temples and monasteries have been conducting prayers, rituals and ceremonies to alleviate the pandemic and for the well being of all sentient beings around the world. We hope the end of the winter season marks the end of the pandemic and we welcome Spring with a new hope for a beautiful year.

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