Dr Tsering Tsamchoe and Dr Tenzin Tsundue, members of the CTA task force, delivering the press briefing on 3 April 2020.

Dharamshala: The Central Tibetan Administration’s Task Force for the Wuhan origin, COVID-19 pandemic addressed the press today on the status of active cases in the Tibetan community and the response measures being taken.

The confirmed cases of global infections stand at 900,306 and 45,693 deaths across 206 countries according to the WHO’s update on 2 April. India reported 2088 confirmed cases with 56 deaths, 156 cured and 1 migrated as per the Central government’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The Task Force charged with leading CTA’s responses to the pandemic confirmed 1 positive case (active) with coronavirus in Tibetan community: a Tibetan from Paris and reported 2 deaths including a 79-year-old Tibetan who arrived in Dharamsala from the US (died on 23 March) and an 84-year-old Tibetan in the UK (died on 24 March).

Addressing reports of cases in Tibetan health care providers in the US, the task force said it is yet unconfirmed. The committee also announced that the spouse and children of the coronavirus patient from Paris have tested negative.

A total of 1597 individuals across 37 Tibetan settlements in India with travel history to high-risk regions have been placed under home quarantine. The status of their health is being monitored and timely medical care is being provided at the local settlement hospital.

This figure has been compiled from 27 settlements out of 37 and it is a list combining 4 groups- 1)those who arrived from the US, 2) those who traveled inside India, 3) those at risk due to direct exposure. The number of infected persons among the group is currently at 0, so they are being placed under institutional quarantine.

In Dharamshala, five are under home quarantine with a nurse designated to monitor and provide required medical assistance.

The Task Force is also actively involved in efforts with the Representatives of Offices of Tibet around the world for corresponding details from the Tibetan communities outside India.

Within a week, the committee will initiate distribution of Tibetan herbal medicines in efforts to ensure physical and mental recovery for those under quarantine.  The medicines will be provided free of charge but based on two criteria.

Local Tibetan settlement hospitals and Mentsee khang clinics will coordinate the distributions across India.

Likewise in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, Russia and Nepal, the respective local Mentseekhangs have been advised to assist the OOT Representatives in making the medicines available to those in quarantine.

Initiatives to support the vulnerable members of the community, ensuring protective equipment for frontline health staff and raising public awareness via experts talk series are also in full force.

Helpline numbers have been activated for people to request any medical advice and help related to coronavirus. Visit here.

For those in Dharamshala, you can contact at 222053.

If you develop symptoms for COVID-19 such as coughing, fever, respiratory difficulties, reach out to the local settlement hospital and follow the guidelines prescribed. In case, you develop severe symptoms, get immediate medical help.

Until further instructions from respective government authorities, Tibetans around the world are urged to comply with the standing guidelines, practice social distancing and maintain proper hygiene.

The press briefing was delivered by Dr Tsering Tsamchoe and Dr Tenzin Tsundue, members of the CTA task force.

The CTA task force is presided by Kalon Choekyong Wangchuk, Department of Health and two former personal physicians of His Holiness the Dalai Lama Dr Tseten and Dr Tamding and a host of Tibetan medical professionals. Click here to watch the full press conference. ALso To read the documentation of the press conference in Tibetan click here.

Correction: In the live press briefing, the task force committee reported the death of a Tibetan in New Zealand due to coronavirus. It has been clarified that the information was inaccurate.

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