New Delhi: Taking strict measures to check on the deadly coronavirus, the Bhutan government on Tuesday night announced a 7-day nationwide lockdown from Wednesday. Issuing an order, the government stated that the lockdown across the nation will enable the government to control the spread of the disease and also discern the extent of transmission in the communities. Also Read - 'Not 1, But 2 Made in India Vaccines': Modi in Interaction With Covid Vaccinators in Varanasi | Top Points

“In continuation to the inter-district movement restriction imposed this morning, the National COVID-19 Taskforce decided the need for a more stringent action after detection of sporadic cases in flu clinics in Thimphu and Paro, and also in Lhamoizingkha, which is evident of local transmission,” the statement said. Also Read - Vitamin D Deficiency May Raise Risk of Contracting the Deadly Coronavirus

“In doing so, His Majesty has commanded that it should be of minimum inconvenience to our people. The government will strive to work towards that,” it said.

While only designated shops within the zones and essential services will be available, all schools, institutions, offices and business establishments will remain closed during the lockdown period.

Similarly, the movement of individuals with the card within the zones and delivery of essentials will start in Thimphu from Wednesday as it completes the third day of lockdown. However, zone relaxation will not apply to houses under isolation.

As per updates from the Ministry of Health of the Himalayan Kingdom on December 22, the total number of COVID-19 cases stood at 479 out of which 430 have recovered. Bhutan is yet to record a COVID-19 fatality.

During the lockdown, relevant agencies will ensure that there are no disruptions in supply of goods, vegetables and other essential items, including animal feed, within the country. The Government will also facilitate and ensure minimum disruption in import and export of all goods.

“While we have decided on the seven-day lockdown to begin with, the pattern of disease transmission will determine the way forward. This time, we have obvious indication of rampant local transmission and urge people to take maximum precaution,”the government said.