From left: Taskforce Chair Health Secretary Palden Dhondup, Kashag Secretary Tsegyal Chukya Dranyi, Sikyong Penpa Tsering, Delek hospital Director Dawa Phunkyi and Mentseekhang Director Tsering Dhondup. Photo/Tenzin Phende/CTA

Dharamshala: Sikyong Penpa Tsering reviewed the progress of the vaccination drive across 36 Tibetan Settlements, and the implementation of the priority guidelines/measures to curb the Covid-19 pandemic, at the Covid-19 task force meeting this Monday.

Since assuming office, Sikyong has prioritised CTA’s COVID-response by revamping the COVID-taskforce and launched key strategies to tackle COVID in the first week of his inauguration.

Chair of the Covid-19 Emergency Task Force, Palden Dhondup, Secretary of Health Department reiterated the 3 key agendas of the new Kashag to combat the pandemic: 1) To vaccinate the general public, 2) procure medical supplies and equipment for the hospitals and clinics run by the Health Department, 3) dispense rations to the destitute affected in the lockdown under the Home department’s purview.

Thus far, in accordance with the phase-wise vaccination drive by the Government of India, eligible elderlies above 60, those above 45 with comorbidities, those in the 45-60 age group without comorbidities, have attained near full vaccine coverage.

Calling the vaccination drive a key priority, the Taskforce chair extended his thanks to the heads of religious institutions, NGOs, associations, and private individuals who have come forward to donate vaccines and medical equipment across settlements in Mundgod, Hunsur, Kollegal, covering 20-30% of the exile Tibetan population.

He briefed on the efforts to procure vaccines which are underway led by the personal physician of His Holiness, and committee advisory member Dr Tsetan Dorji Sadutshang of Delek Hospital assisted by Dr Tenzin Tsundue both of whom are in charge of overseeing the technical aspects of vaccine procurement.

In preparedness for the oncoming third wave, Chair Palden Dhondup said the task force has prioritised the most vulnerable, i.e., the age groups of 4-17 and those unvaccinated from the 18-45 age group to receive Sorig immune boosters as per the guidance of Sorig experts.

Except for TCV Bylakuppe and TCV Ladakh, most schools have been covered under the initiative, he added. Caretakers and educators at boarding schools have been directed to ensure that kids take the medicines on time.

An overview of the vaccination data furnished by 36 settlements and various schools as of Monday are:

Lobling school in Nepal: fully vaccinated, 2 administered 1st dose and 3 unvaccinated.
Songtsen boarding school: 30 fully vaccinated, 30 administered 1st dose and 23 unvaccinated.
Namgyal school in Nepal: 126 unvaccinated, 14 administered the 1st dose and 13 fully vaccinated.
9 schools under the Sambhota administration have furnished data, the rest is pending.
Except for Upper TCV, the vaccination data from TCV branch schools: Pending
Mussourie Home’s School: pending.
Vaccination data received by the Health Department from 36 settlements reveal, other than a hand few, most settlements report full coverage.

Advisory members: personal physicians to His Holiness the Dalai Lama Dr Tsetan Dorji Sadutshang, Delek Hospital and Tsewang Tandin, Men Tsee Khang join the meeting virtually. Photo/Tenzin Phende/CTA

The tally: first dose administered: 21,474; pending: 9,440; fully vaccinated: 8,061, unvaccinated: 14,761.

Some ineligibility due to health circumstances for vaccination such as lactating women and preexisting health conditions have prevented settlements from acquiring full coverage status.

By the end of this week, pending data of the unvaccinated from settlements is expected to be compiled and processed. He stressed that public cooperation plays a huge role as it impacts the data compilation efforts.

In order to boost the progress, Sikyong is scheduled to hold a virtual meeting with Settlement Officers from the south, the centre and the northeast through Monday afternoon.

Some ineligible due to health circumstances for vaccination such as lactating women and preexisting health conditions have prevented settlements from acquiring full vaccine coverage status.

By the end of this week, pending data of the unvaccinated from settlements is expected to be compiled and processed. He stressed that public cooperation plays a huge role as it impacts the data compilation efforts.

In order to boost the progress, Sikyong is scheduled to hold a virtual meeting with Settlement Officers from the south, the centre and the northeast through Monday afternoon.

The taskforce briefing in progress. Also present: Secretary of International Relations Karma Choeying, Dr Tenzin Tsundue, Delek Hospital, Men Tsee Khang doctor Rinzin Sangmo. Photo/Tenzin Phende/CTA

 

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