Covid Taskforce Committee addresses its 99th briefing

Dharamshala: Continuing with the search for volunteer nurses, Joint Secretary Tenzin Kunsang invited Tibetan volunteer nurses to serve at the health facility of Shimla and Puruwala Tibetan Settlement at the 99th Covid Taskforce Briefing. She also reiterated that everyone should strictly adhere to the Covid protocols responsibly during the Losar festival despite the ease of Covid restrictions from the Indian Government and Central Tibetan Administration while informing the circulation of re-transformed Covid protocols to every Settlement Offices.

Joint Secretary Tenzin Kunsang further informed the prevalence of the virus in spite of the decline in the number of cases, which she believed is, due to a decrease in tests being carried out. Hence, she urged the public not to disregard the mild symptoms mentioning a death caused by negligence.

Stressing the importance of wearing masks and the necessity of having proper ventilation at one’s dwelling, Joint Secretary advised everyone to avoid gatherings inside the enclosed space or to assemble in open areas to dodge the infection. Before concluding, she appealed everyone to take charge of one’s own health.

Following the Joint Secretary, sMenpa Tsering Tsamchoe updated the current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic and the vaccination status of the Tibetan community in India and Nepal. She explained that 427 Tibetans were tested for the Coronavirus in the last seven days, out of which 73 tested positive to the virus. Of the 73, 32 were males while 41 were females. The oldest person to test positive in the past week was 101 years old, while the youngest was three months old. She stated that 9,060 Tibetans have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began. From which, 8,789 have recovered, and 166 passed away from the virus while 105 are still active, she said.

Updating the vaccination status of the Tibetan community of India, she said that 49,817 Tibetans above 18 are fully vaccinated while 477 were partially vaccinated in India till now. Moreover, 544 children between the age bracket of 15-17 years were completely inoculated, while 769 were partially jabbed. The number of older people who received precautionary doses stands at 3,280, and 589 front liners were vaccinated with the same dose.

In the case of the Tibetan community in Nepal, she said 6,990 Tibetans above 18 were fully vaccinated, and 99 children between 15-17 years have also received both shots while 15 are partly inoculated. In addition, she mentioned that 117 Tibetans above 60 and 4 front liners in Nepal had received booster shots.

She further said that a total of 57,390 units of Sorig immune boosters were distributed till now, from which around twenty thousand units were distributed to those who were quarantined. Around eighteen thousand were dispersed to children below 17 years before the approval of vaccination for them, with remaining units for elderly peoples, front liners and others. Describing the status of Tibetans in quarantine at the moment, she said that a total of 214 people are quarantined, comprising 193 home quarantine and 21 institutional quarantine.

Before handing over the podium to Dr Tenzin Namdol, sMenpa Tsamchoe stressed the importance of following the protocols while travelling for the upcoming Losar festival.

Dr Tenzin Namdol addressed the Covid briefing saying at present; we can see that the Covid situation around the globe, likewise in India, is getting better. Hence, the Central Government of India has requested to lift the restrictions in the respective states since the situation turned back to normality. However, she said, that doesn’t mean the pandemic has phased-out and requested everyone to continue implementing every precautionary measure, of which vaccination is paramount importance.

Since the vaccination of the third dose to 60 years and above was already initiated in India, she requested that everyone get their due vaccination. She further said individuals with comorbidity conditions who were hesitant to visit the hospital due to the rise in covid cases are asked to continue with their treatment given the decline in covid cases. “It has been two years since the outbreak of the pandemic. Within this time frame, many have suffered both physically and mentally.” “Therefore, for the well being of both body and mind, one needs to incorporate physical exercises, meditation, nutritious diet, adequate intake of fluids etc in their daily routine,” she added.