73rd COVID-briefing: Collective effort to prevent community outbreak urged ahead of third wave of pandemic

Additional Secretary Jampa Phuntsok issues new guidelines. TTV Screengrab image

Dharamshala: As experts predict the third wave of the pandemic to hit the Indian subcontinent, the weekly COVID-status of the exile Tibetan community has seen an addition of 55 new cases. Gender wise they are: 37 males and 18 females. The eldest is 93 while the youngest is 7. Tragically, 2 seniors have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. Thus, bringing the total number of reported COVID-cases of exile Tibetans to 6135, with 5765 recoveries, 146 deaths and 224 active cases.

Additional Secretary Jampa Phuntsok of Health Department warned about the rising cases in the past two weeks within the Tibetan community and issued appeal for collective effort between all the stakeholders. Concerning the ongoing vaccination drive, he informed that both the doses must be administered for its efficacy. After appealing the public to avail the vaccine made accessible by the Indian government, he added that a minority of the population are still at risk of infection despite complete immunization in rare cases.

Amchi Tsamchoe addresses the 73rd COVID-briefing. Screengrab image

Amchi Tsamchoe updated the weekly quarantine status of exile Tibetans which reveal 762 people are at home quarantine and 358 in institutional quarantine. Sorig immune boosters disbursed thus far amount to 43,473 units. The health department’s mental health section provided 62 COVID-patients telecounselling services this week. Mass testing has covered 769 people this week.

According to the vaccination data received by the committee, in India 21,099 Tibetans are fully immunized while 28,710 received the first dose bringing the vaccination rate of the eligible population to 91.33%.

In Nepal, 3024 Tibetans are fully vaccinated while 683 were administered the first jab which makes 45.38% of the eligible population vaccinated.

The central committee is engaged in undertaking settlement-wide inspection tours to assess the COVID-preparedness of our community.

As the third wave is expected to hit India in the coming months guarding against it by adhering to the COVID protocols and availing the vaccines is a collective responsibility, said Amchi Tsamchoe even as the administration and experts are making all arrangements to prevent a community outbreak.

Dr Gyatso of Delek hospital addresses the 73rd COVID-briefing. Screengrab image

Dr Ugyen Gyatso of Delek hospital shared that currently the hospital has set Wednesdays and Fridays for first and second jabs respectively under 50-50 scheme of online and walk in registration to boost the vaccination drive. Likewise, RTPCR tests are arranged on Tuesdays and Fridays to enable ease of testing for the public who are directed to contact Delek hospital staff in advance to schedule the tests.