Dharamshala: In more than seven months now since the coronavirus pandemic hit the world, only 94 Tibetans from India, Nepal and Bhutan have been infected with the virus of which, 68 which is 72 percent of the total have already recovered.
Compared to the rest of the world that is still reeling from the impacts of coronavirus, the Tibetan communities are faring much better when it comes to curbing the spread of the Wuhan originated virus.
The robust leadership of Kashag and the Department of Health, the cohesion of the CTA COVID-19 task force and the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Committee have yielded the most efficient COVID-19 response and containment approach.
Setting up of community quarantine and care centers, active/passive surveillance, deploying quick resources for precautionary and containment measures, providing Tibetan SORIG immune boosters for patients, elders and vulnerable, capacity-building of frontline health workers, mental health counselling for patients and vulnerable, issuing guidelines and resources for health awareness are some of the strategic interventions implemented by the task force to keep the virus at bay.
Based on the observations of patients, health staff and relevant authorities, the SORIG immune boosters have proved effective at alleviating COVID-19 symptoms, thereby ensuring higher scope for recovery.
“Numerous feedbacks from the settlement offices and OOTs abroad suggest that the SORIG immune boosters which the Mentsee Khang and the Health Department have been distributing are highly effective in aiding the recovery of patients,” says Deputy Secretary Tenzin Kunsang during the COVID briefing on Thursday.
Because of the increasing requirement for the immune boosters, the Mentsee Khang is ramping up its production despite the unfavourable weather conditions. She urged people to not waste the medicines as these were ‘truly rare and precious’.
Till date, the task force has distributed the immune boosters to 15,144 Tibetans in India and abroad.
“1386 people in the community quarantine centres, 9476 above the age of 65, 788 health workers and volunteers, 1201 patients of BP and diabetes and 2293 were sent to Tibetans abroad via the Offices of Tibet,” says Dr Tsering Tsamchoe of CTA task force.
As for the status of COVID-19 in Tibetan communities in India and Nepal, the total active case is 23 including 6 new cases this week: 1 from Ladakh, 30-year-old woman who is currently under home quarantine; 3 from Mundgod including 67-year-old woman with co-morbidities who passed away shortly after being tested; 32-year-old man with travel history and 41-year-old man. Both the men are currently being treated at Taluk care centre; 2 from Delhi including 35-year-old woman who contracted the virus from hospital and is currently under institutional quarantine; 34-year-old man who came in close contact with COVID patients and is currently under institutional quarantine.
With this, the total number of case is 94 with 68 recoveries, 23 active cases and 3 death.
According to the Health dept’s data committee, a total of 493 are under quarantine in 35 Tibetan settlements in India and Nepal of which 253 are at home quarantine, 240 in CTA arranged community quarantine centers this week. In Dharamshala, 59 are currently undergoing quarantine at home and CTA arranged community quarantine centres. Swab samples of 28 were taken this week.
Passive surveillance for symptoms is also being carried out rigorously across 37 Tibetan settlements in India and Nepal.
7272 people have been covered which includes 5737 who are above the age of 60 and 1535 vulnerable individuals. 2434 were screened this week in Dharamshala.
Meanwhile, the Mental health committee has reached out to 204 Tibetans at quarantine centers and COVID patients across 22 Tibetan settlements to provide mental health counselling and guidance where needed.