Dharamshala: Secretary Palden Dhondup of the Department of Health, CTA addressed the 38th COVID-19 press briefing today along with Dr Tsering Tsamchoe and Dr Tenzin Tsundue. Secretary apprised of the year-long consistent effort of the administration against the spread of COVID-19 in the Tibetan community across India and Nepal.
Since March, CTA and its departments through their varying capacities have been consistently engaged in the COVID prevention drive and despite the concerted effort, the threat and challenges posed by the virus is gravely felt.
“Even though, the Tibetan community has observed 90% recovery rate, the Tibetan community still need to be extremely cautious and on guard in the coming few months”, urged Secretary Palden and further appealed everyone to do their bit in order to succeed in containing the virus.
He forbade relaxed attitude which is extensively being observed as one of the leading cause of significant escalation in the cases and went on to advise against attending large gathering and unnecessary travel. In addition, he informed that the distribution of SORIG immune booster will continue as it had till now since 28th March 2020 when CTA first initiated mass distribution of SORIG immune booster to those at quarantine, above 65 yr-old, patients with co-morbidities, and those working at the frontline etc.
“CTA appeals everyone to strictly adhere to the prevention guidelines designed to control the spread of the virus. Those guidelines include wearing facial coverings in public, washing hands, and social distancing” he added.
Dr Tsamchoe updated the COVID status of the exile Tibetan community. 45 Tibetans tested positive this week and their distribution regionally are: 5 from Clementown, 11 from Dharamshala, 1 from Bylakuppe, 3 from Dekyiling, 2 from Ladakh, 18 from Miao, 1 from Shimla, and 4 from Tso Pema. Of this, 27 are male and 18 female, the oldest is 97 and youngest is 12 yr-old. The total no of cases both in India and Nepal stand at 1421, with 1276 recoveries, 35 deaths and 110 active cases.
Reviewing CTA’s COVID efforts, she updated the quarantine status of the exile Tibetan community which is 572 and out of which 280 are at home quarantine and the rest at the CTA facilitated centres. She updated the progress of the SORIG immune boosters provisions to the patients. 5155 people at quarantine, 8725 people above 65 age, 1481 frontliners, 4040 people with co-morbidities, and 3143 Tibetans abroad have received the SORIG provisions. As for the tele counselling service, the administration’s Mental Health Section provided tele-counselling to 23 COVID patients.
As for the settlement wise testing drive this week, Dr Tsamchoe updated that 698 people in India and 2 in Nepal were tested.
As usual, once again Dr Tsamchoe insisted following the guidelines issued by GOI even more seriously given the relaxation in the lockdown and resumption of business while she warned against laid-back treatment of the whole circumstances.
Dr Tsundue updated the testing drive carried in Dharamshala this week with 281 being tested of which 11 Tibetans were confirmed positive. He further drew attention to the rising cases in Dharamshala lately, urging people to be responsible individuals.
He further informed about his recent conversation with a Geshe on the pandemic who explained the pandemic through the perspective of Buddhism and added that the discussion is relevant to the current crisis.
Dr Tsundue highlighted the current pandemic in the light of Buddha’s teaching of four noble truths- the truth of suffering which is evident among the people toward the pandemic crisis, truth of origin of suffering which is attributed to the Wuhan originated virus. As for the third and fourth truth, Dr Tsundue noted that right understanding is the significant factor. Here he is referring to understanding and gathering information related to COVID-19 from a reliable and valid sources instead of falling prey to fake news being widely circulated in the community.