Dharamsala: As the Wuhan Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread across the globe not sparing almost any country, the Department of Health, CTA on seeing the unprecedented events and the potentially catastrophic impacts of Covid-19 in the Tibetan Settlements across India, a Covid-19 Task-Force has been formed on 19th March 2020. The task force includes three advisory members, Health Kalon Choekyong Wangchuk, Dr. Tsetan Dorji Sadutshang from Delek Hospital, and Dr. Tsewang Tamdin from MenTseeKhang. Health Secretary Palden Dhondup, Additional Secretary, Joint Secretary, and all the Deputy Secretaries and staff of concerned sections. Further three traditional doctors from MenTseeKhang and three allopathic doctors from Delek Hospital make a committee of twenty members. This committee has been formed to further enhance, increase the reach, and create a system to sustain the preventive measures that have been being carried out by the Department of Heath since January 2020. Prior to the formation of Wuhan Covid-19 Task-Force, DoHe has provided guidelines and sent notices around seventeen times to the respective settlements staff.
On 20th March, In the course of the first meeting, five major issues were discussed and all have been successfully implemented or are currently being monitored.
- The Doctors of Delek Hospital prepared an SOP for different categories of Covid-19 cases and it has been translated into Tibetan by the doctors of MenTseeKhang. The same has been sent to all the Tibetan Settlement Officers (TSOs) and Executive Secretaries of hospitals and health centers. In the coming days, there could be a probable need for quarantine facilities for suspected cases. Hence currently there are twenty rooms available as quarantine center at Dharamsala. To all the TSOs the department has issued notice to provide the same according to their capacities.
- All the 50 CTA staff who have traveled across India and reached Dharamsala after 9th March were asked to stay home quarantine. Similarly, across all the settlements there are 594 people currently under home quarantine and all are being monitored.
- A list of emergency contact numbers of all the settlement officers, concerned staff of hospitals, and health centers were also uploaded in Tibet.net and Tibetanhealth.org in case of emergencies.
- Also, the settlement level health committee members are converted to settlement level Covid-19 Task-Force members.
- Further, MentseeKhang has suggested traditional medicines on top of healthy food only for people staying in quarantine for the sole purpose of boosting immunity.
An appeal by the Covid-19 Task force members is that all the Tibetans around the world to abide by the rules and regulations imposed by the respective countries. Staying updated by referring only reliable sources like WHO, CDC.
As far as India is concerned where CTA is seated, it is under lockdown for 21 days, the task force is also facing challenges to organize a meeting with all its members. Thus, most of the discussions are being carried on whatsapp groups. However, regardless of the challenges, the Task-Force is conducting periodic meetings to further enhance the precautionary measures.