Bhutan has apartments in New York, US as free accommodation for Bhutanese affected by COVID-19. The facility is to be used as self-isolation by the Bhutanese who have tested positive.
According members associated with United Bhutanese Association of New York, substantial number of Bhutanese in New York have expressed willingness to return Bhutan if possible. There are over 500 Bhutanese in New York. The city is the worst affected region in the United States with over 4,500 deaths and 130,000 positive cases.
It is not yet known the exact number of positive cases in the community.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said his government is making arrangements to facilitate travel of those Bhutanese who wanted to return. According to him, over 5000 Bhutanese, mostly from Middle East have expressed willingness to return to Bhutan.If all are allowed to return, it possesses challenge for Bhutan in managing possible community transmission. Currently Bhutan has capacity to treat 1000 facility in Thimphu and Paro. The government is learnt to have started preparing for additional health facility in the vicinity of Paro Airport.