Central Task Force imposes restrictions for Tibetans in Dharamshala after surge in Covid cases

Dharamshala: Speaking at the 78th weekly Covid-19 Taskforce briefing, Chair Palden Dhondup of the Central Taskforce Committee illustrated the recently concluded settlements wide assessment by the members of the committee.

The central task force delegation visited Tibetan settlements spread across India to assess and enquire about the preparedness of the Tibetan community against the imminent threat of the possible third wave.

The delegation was divided into three groups each focusing on a specific region. One group toured the settlements in the North-Eastern part, one group visited settlements spread across Himachal Pradesh including the schools and monastic institutions while the other visited five settlements in Southern India.

As per the data collected from the assessment tour, Chair Palden concluded that most of the Tibetan settlements have the situation under control, however, only a few of them have complained regarding the shortage of manpower vis-à-vis front liners. The shortages, he noted, are mainly attributed to the widespread misinformation and social stigma associated with the virus.

“I request the collective effort and cooperation of each Tibetan in fighting the virus and even more so in smashing the covid stereotypes”, urged Chair Palden Dhondup.

Addressing the recent gradual surge of active cases reported in Dharamshala, Chair Palden said that the younger adults including those 18 years make up the majority of cases, indicating the surge may be the coming of the third wave.

As measures to curb the swelling cases in Dharamshala, the Central Taskforce issued new restrictions prohibiting Tibetans from attending mass gatherings including visits to cinema halls, pubs and night clubs etc. As per the new directive, anyone caught flouting the new guidelines shall be penalized.

As for the COVID-status of exile Tibetans, Dr Tsamchoe reported 104 fresh cases out of which, the oldest patient is 95 years and the youngest is aged 2, thus, bringing the total number of COVID-cases to 6418 with 6121 recoveries, 150 deaths and 147 active cases.

Sorig immune boosters totalling 52,813 units have been disbursed till now out of which 14123 units were distributed to those below 18 years.

Under the ongoing immunization drive, 36,999 eligible Tibetans in India are now fully vaccinated while 13449 are partially inoculated. In Nepal, 3191 Tibetans are fully vaccinated while 533 have received the first jab.

Dr Namdon of Delek Hospital noted that the active cases registered in Dharmashala are of mild symptoms and not severe, however, considering the highly contagious nature of the new delta variant, institutional centres such as schools, monasteries and schools are specifically urged to adopt maximum precautions. Meanwhile, she also emphasised the immunised individuals to continue taking all the precautions as those unvaccinated.