50th COVID-briefing: Strict precautionary measures urged in tandem with vaccine

Additional Secretary Jampa Phuntsok addressing the 50th COVID briefing. photo: Screengrab

Dharamshala: Addressing the 50th COVID-briefing, Dr Tsamchoe updated the COVID status of the exile Tibetan community, reporting 11 new cases this week. They are region wise: 1 from Rajpur, 4 from Dharamsala, 3 from Mundgod, 1 from Dolanji and 2 from Shimla. Of which, 9 are male and 2 females; the oldest is aged 89 and youngest is 21; symptomwise: 7 asymptomatic and 4 symptomatic with 3 deaths reported this week.

The total count of reported COVID cases of exile Tibetan community stand at 1612, of which 1496 have recovered, 43 deaths and 73 active cases.

National vaccine drive covered 459 Tibetans this week with a total of 3320 Tibetans vaccinated who fall under the eligibility criteria of 1) age 60 and above and 2) age 45 above with comorbidity issues.

Dr Tsamchoe explained that COVID-19 vaccines in the market have high rate of efficacy, however, the second dose must be completed for immunization to work and urged following precautions in addition to vaccination.

As primary and secondary schools reopen next week, she called for educators and administrators to supervise children in adherence to the COVID-guidelines.

Additional Secretary Jampa Phuntsok, Health Department, CTA thanked the Indian government for facilitating vaccination for the Tibetan community on behalf of the department and expressed hopes that provisions for a vaccine centre at Delek hospital for Dharamsala Tibetans would be granted. He also applauded the efforts of the Settlement Officers, Directors of branch healthcare centres and volunteers in registering the eligible Tibetans for vaccination and appealed the public to continue following precautionary measures alongside vaccination, till the pandemic no longer poses a threat to health safety.

Dr Tsundue shared 6870 people have received the first dose of COVID-vaccine at Kangra adding that people with the 20 co-morbid conditions listed by the government, showed no adverse reactions to the vaccine.

He also clarified that vaccines are not fail-safe individually and must be boosted by precautionary measures.

Dr Tsundue demonstrated the process to register for vaccine via Arogya Setu mobile app to dispel confusion among users.

The quarantine status this week reports 578 people at quarantine, of which 273 are home quarantined and 205 at institutional quarantine.

Mental health committee provided counseling services to 9 COVID-positive patients this week and also organised a virtual workshop on mental health guidance from SORIG perspective facilitated by an expert.

Mass testing drive covered 1562 Tibetans this week.

Dr Tsering Tsmchoe addressing the 50th COVID briefing. Photo: Screengrab
Dr Tenzin Tsundue addressing the 50th COVID breifing. Photo: Screengrab