54th COVID-19 Briefing: Strict precautions urged ahead of final Tibetan elections

Joint Secretary Tsering Youdon of Health addressing the 54th Covid-19 briefing. Screengrab image

Dharamshala: Updating the Covid-status of exile Tibetan community, Dr Tsamchoe reported 37 new cases of which the eldest is 84 and youngest is 18. Genderwise 15 are male and 22 female while 24 are symptomatic and 14 asymptomatic cases. As of this week, an 84-year-old elderly with comorbidity succumbed to Covid.

This brings the total cases of exile Tibetan community to 1757 cases, of which 1628 recovered, 48 deaths and 81 active cases.

Globally, the pandemic tally stands at 132 million cases in around 223 countries with the US and Brazil leading at 30 million and 13 million cases each. While in India, cases continue to multiply at a piercing rate, crossing 1,15,000 per day. However, the recovery and mortality rate has been stable at 91% and 1.28% respectively.

In light of recent evidence revealing a higher rate of symptomatic cases among the age group of 15-40 with a higher mortality rate in those above 60, Joint Secretary Tsering Youdon urged for utmost consideration of elderly people’s health safety.

Across India, we are seeing around 1,15,000 cases a day. The situation is getting ever more critical and hence sustained precautions are paramount, she said.

She applauded the dedication and efforts of the settlement prevention committee that has been in progress since last year and urged them for sustained efforts. She also assured continued support from the centre and welcomed feedback and suggestions from the public with regards to public healthcare.

Meanwhile, she clarified the three types of quarantine norms; those who have travelled to other states, positive patients and contacts, all must adhere to the quarantine guidelines which is the most effective way of containment.

Ahead of the final round of Tibetan general elections, she urged everybody to follow the basic precautions as even vaccination does not entirely cover full immunity.

Dr Tsamchoe updated the weekly quarantine status reporting that 208 people are at quarantine, of which 137 are at home quarantine and 71 at institutional quarantine. Thus far, 28,491 Sorig immune boosters have been distributed. Under mass testing, 1033 Tibetans have been covered.

The vaccination drive has covered a total of 12,140 Tibetans under the successive phases of vaccination as per data submitted to the Health department. The mental health section provided tele-counselling services to 5 positive patients this week.

Dr Tsamchoe also highlighted World Health Day’s 2021 campaign on 7 April calling for equal and fair access to health without discrimination to refer to the fact that investment in basic healthcare must be made a priority and similarly the importance of mental healthcare amidst the pandemic.

Dr Tsundue cautioned against the general perception that young people are less vulnerable, ringing the warning bells on the new mutations which are highly infectious and fatal to all.

As states including Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have reported the highest tally in Covid, he warned that another wave could break out in the Tibetan settlements concentrated in these states and similarly in UP and Punjab in north India where night curfew has been imposed.

Dr Tsering Tsamchoe addressing the 54th Covid-19 briefing. Screengrab image
Dr Tenzin Tsundue addressing the 54th Covid-19 briefing. Screengrab image