Dressed in traditional Bhutanese clothes, with a backpack and baseball cap, the 41-year-old continued his 14-month journey: on foot, on horseback or by car to remote villages.
The governor himself had been quarantined several times in a hotel in the capital Thimphu upon returning from another trip.
– As the King travels and knocks on the doors of his citizens’ homes to personally inform them of the epidemic, his humble words are respected and taken seriously. The mountain country’s Prime Minister Lutai Tshering made it clear that His Majesty’s presence sends a much stronger message than regular government publications.
Traces of the king’s journey are clearly visible. Since the beginning of the pandemic, in 2006 the country has detected only one case of coronavirus and one death linked to COVID-19. The authorities’ fears of the uncontrolled spread of the virus are exacerbated by the extremely precarious health situation in neighboring India and the fact that the kingdom’s population is small, at just over 750,000. population.
“Our king’s biggest fear is that the epidemic will spread like wildfire and decimate our nation,” a senior palace official said.
Like his subjects, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck only took one dose of the vaccine. So far, 90 percent of them have been vaccinated. of the country’s population received a single dose of AstraZeneca, but supplies have been used up and authorities are working to secure new supplies quickly. The second dose is due in June.
Bhutan is a Buddhist country located in the Himalayas, neighboring India and Tibet. The kingdom is trying to protect itself from foreign influences and establishes diplomatic relations with only 54 countries, among which there are no countries such as France, Great Britain, the United States or Russia. Poland established diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Bhutan on November 29, 2012.
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