Negative RT-PCR mandatory for tourists entering Himachal Pradesh

Dr Tenzin Tsundue (left) and Dr Tsering Tsamchoe (right) addressing the 71st Covid-19 briefing. Photo: Screen grab

Dharamshala: Updating the Covid-status of the Tibetan community, Dr Tsamchoe addressed the 71st Covid-19 task force briefing yesterday reporting 232 new cases and 2 deaths in the community. Of the tested individuals, the oldest is said to be a 92-year-old and the youngest being a 1-month-old infant.

The weekly mass testing drive in India and Nepal covered around 1201 Tibetans and with this, the total number of reported cases of the exile Tibetan community reached 5948. Out of that, there were 5354 recoveries,140 deaths, and 454 active cases as per the data received by the response committee.

1630 Tibetans are reported to be in quarantine from which 880 are in home quarantine while 75 are in institutional quarantine.

As for the disbursement of SORIG immune boosters, a total of 41618 units of Sorig boosters have been disbursed till now.

The inoculation status in India currently stands at 28,726 Tibetans who are fully vaccinated and at least 21,007 Tibetans who have received the first dose of the vaccine.

As for the status in Nepal, 831 Tibetans were administered the first jab of Covishield while 2039 Tibetans have opted for the single-shot  Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

To maintain herd immunity against the possible upcoming wave, Dr Tsamchoe had urged maximum participation in the ongoing immunisation drive. She also urged the existing and recovered covid patients to follow up with proper care as reported cases of long covid in India is high. Experts have described long covid as symptoms continuing for more than 12 weeks after infection. The symptoms could be mild or severe and are often identified by extreme tiredness, heart palpitations, and changes to taste and smell.

Even though the overall covid situation in India is slowing down, however, some parts of India such as Kerala and Maharashtra are still struggling with a surge in new cases. Similarly, Himachal Pradesh is also facing a surge in covid cases and in a bid to flatten the wave, the State government of Himachal Pradesh had now made negative RT-PCR reports of not more than 72 hours mandatory for tourists entering the state.

Noting the recent findings of the collaborative research conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Institute of Virology (NIV), Dr Tsundue alluded that people who are fully vaccinated are said to have higher protection against Delta variant as opposed to those aren’t. He commended the active participation of Tibetans in the ongoing inoculation drive, and meanwhile debunking the covid myths, urged more to come forward for vaccination.