41st COVID-19 briefing urges continued precautions necessary to avert resurgence

Tenzin Kunsang, Deputy Secretary of Health Department addresses the 41st COVID-briefing.

Dharamshala: Addressing the 41st COVID-19 briefing, Dr Tsering Tsamchoe updated the weekly covid-status of the exile Tibetan community reporting 25 new cases from the following regions:4 in Dharamshala, 19 in Ladakh, 1 each in Bylakuppe and Dekyiling. Of the total new cases,13 are male and 12 are female, and symptom wise, 6 symptomatic and 19 asymptomatic. The eldest is 71 years old and the youngest is 14 years old. No case of death has been reported this week. With this, the total number of reported cases of the exile Tibetan community is 1473, 1392 recoveries, 37 deaths and 44 active cases.

In the last one year, the global pandemic tally has crossed 85 million cases and resulted in 1million deaths. In India, the total count has crossed 10 million and active cases are at 2,28,000 with 96.36% recovery rate and 1.45% death rate, while 20,346 cases of the new variant of COVID-19 was recorded in the past 24 hours.

Reviewing CTA’s COVID response, Dr Tsamchoe reported that the quarantine status of settlement population from India and Nepal are 316, with 113 in-home quarantine, and 203 in community quarantine centres. SORIG immune boosters have been distributed to  524 people last week making the total 23,986 units provided to contacts of COVID-positive patients and quarantine residents having symptoms. Mass testing drive conducted across 14 settlements in India and 1 in Nepal covered 558 Tibetans last week.

Deputy Secretary Tenzin Kunsang of Health Department shared that vaccination programme will begin soon with the support of the Indian government and that the Health Department is coordinating with the government on the vaccination efforts and the assistance of community health care providers. Secondly, despite the wonderful news of the fall in cases within the Tibetan community through the collective efforts of the Health Department, organizations and individuals, she said that the public must continue to practice utmost precaution by following the basic measures of wearing masks, hand-sanitizing and maintaining social distance as the new variant of COVID is rapidly spreading across the world. On the concerning reports of bird flu, she advised precaution and following the guidelines issued by government.

Dr Tsamchoe updates COVID-status of exile Tibetan community. Screengrab image

Dr Tsering Tsamchoe informed that due to the festive season and the new strain of the Covid-19, Europe has seen a resurgence in cases requiring the imposition of lockdown amidst the dire situation. In India, 73 cases of the new mutated coronavirus have been reported.

Speaking on the recently developed bird flu, Dr Tsamchoe highlighted that the 4 states of Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh were at an increased risk of the viral disease, particularly, people working in the poultry industry. She also advised against consumption of eggs and chicken and pointed out that the flu-like symptoms range from fever to sneezing, coughing, muscle aches, and in severe cases, breathing issues, vomiting and diarrhoea, and advised early testing to detect infection. She urged the public to follow precautionary measures like sanitizing, masking, social distancing.

Dr Tsundue shares guidance. Screengrab image


Meanwhile, Dr Tsundue informed that although bird flu has been confirmed to be plaguing birds across the state, human transmission has not been reported yet, however, he urged people working in the poultry business to be cautious and report to the hospital if any sign of flu appears.

On the dwindling cases across India in general, Dr Tsundue reminded about scientist’s prediction that expected a surge in cases in the months of January and February and urged for continued efforts to keep the situation in control.

He concluded by sharing optimism for the mass vaccination programme underway.