The Bhutan parliament has suspended its summer session, which began on 27 May after the announcement of a 72-hour lockdown in Thimphu on June 12
The Bhutan parliament has suspended its summer session, which began on 27 May after the announcement of a 72-hour lockdown in Thimphu on June 12.
“The ongoing session was suspended in compliance with the lockdown protocol and that the secretariat would update on the development of the situation,” the secretariat of the national assembly said in a statement released on Sunday.
“We are monitoring the situation and the session can resume if the situation improves. The utmost importance at the moment is Covid-19 as there is no urgent issue,” Parliament Speaker Wangchuk Namgyel, was quoted as saying by Kuensel newspaper. The resumption of the house preceding will depend on the Covid-19 situation as determined by the national task force, he added.
So far, authorities have conducted over 2000 tests in the capital without detecting any positive cases.
The lockdown came Saturday evening after an eight-year-old boy tested positive on an antigen test.
"Health officials and frontline workers launched contact tracing and testing swiftly in the zones. In case of more positive cases from the communities, which is now highly likely, we are in for a long and extended lockdown", Kuensel said.
Health Minister Dechen Wangmo said last week more than 90 percent of children were in schools and that an outbreak in schools could be “very dangerous”.
Several important bills, including the budget, were to be discussed in the house. If the lockdown continues for several days, the house would consider making special arrangements for the resumption of the proceeding, a lawmaker said.
The bill to regularise consolidated contract employees as regular contract employees was also pending in the house. The motion is expected to benefit many teachers and other contract employees across the country.
The Goods and Service Tax (Amendment) Bill 2021 should also be passed soon, as it would otherwise come into effect on July 1. The business community, though, had also requested for deferment of the GST Act. They said that the economy was down and it could affect the private sector.
The Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between Bhutan and Bangladesh, and the Customs (Amendment) Bill of Bhutan 2021, among other important bills slated to be passed by the house.