COVID-19 weekly briefing: CTA reports 11 new cases

Deputy Secretary of Health Department Tenzin Kunsang,(L) Dr Tsering Tsamchoe(C) and Dr Tenzin Namdol(R) from the COVID- 19 Task Force of the CTA.

DHARAMSALA, 17 Dec:  The COVID- 19 Task Force of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) reported 11 new positive cases among exiled Tibetans in India and Nepal over the past seven days.

A total of  11 COVID-19 positive cases were reported among exile Tibetans in India in the last seven days after testing 188 Tibetans from 14 Tibetan settlements in India,” Dr Tsering Tsamchoe said during the committee’s weekly briefing.

The cases, Dr Tsamchoe said were reported from Tibetans in Dharamsala jurisdiction, Bylakuppee, Kollegal, Ladakh and Dekyiling Tibetan settlements.

Dr Tsamchoe said at the briefing that a total of 109 exiled Tibetans from 7 Tibetan settlements in India are under quarantine.

While 100 of them are under home quarantine, 9 are under institutional quarantine.

The tally now stands at 6,969  COVID-19 positive cases to date, 6,792 recoveries, 162 deaths and 15 active cases.

Deputy Secretary of Health Department Tenzin Kunsang appraised the public about the series of meetings the committee has held over the past week with heads of Tibetan schools, settlements, hospitals and clinics.

As India currently sits on the doorstep of vaccinating children against the COVID-19, she announced that the CTA’s Health department will soon begin collecting lists of all eligible Tibetan children from schools and settlements to inoculate them. 

With the festival seasons around the corner, she advised against large public gatherings and further urged the Tibetans to not let their guards down and continue to exercise caution by following the standard guidelines by wearing masks, keeping social distancing, and washing hands regularly. 

Meanwhile, the vaccination rate of Tibetans in Nepal stands at 6,980 Tibetans completely vaccinated and 48 Tibetans are partially vaccinated.

Additionally, 46,482 Tibetans in India are fully vaccinated while 3,725 Tibetans have received the first dose. 

Delek hospital’s Dr Tenzin Namdol from the committee warned that the new COVID-19 Variant Omicron, which the World Health Organisation has deemed a cause for real concern has already spread across 77 countries across the world and urged the Tibetans to be cautious and to take every necessary precaution and to continue to exercise caution, avoid social gatherings and crowds as India has already reported 77 cases already. 

Declaring that the experts have projected the figures to increase, she stated that vaccination remains the best protection against the infection and urged eligible Tibetans to get inoculated. 

Since its outbreak in Wuhan in late 2019, the pandemic has infected 273,019,599 people and killed 5,338,972 people globally according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

India now stands as the 16th worst-hit country by the pandemic in the world with 34,726,049 cases to date and 476,869 deaths. 

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