Dharamshala: Total coronavirus cases tally in Tibetan community in India crossed 295 with an increase of 33 new cases and 5 deaths in the last one week. The total 295 cases include 175 active cases, 109 recoveries and 11 deaths, the CTA COVID-19 task force said on Thursday.
Addressing a press conference on the COVID-19 situation in India and Nepal, CTA’s Health Secretary Palden Dhondup said, “CTA has been concerned from the first outbreak of coronavirus in India and in that view, we have been issuing urgent guidance since early January. Settlement Officers, directors of branch hospitals and the task force have been urging the public to follow the safety measures through official guidelines, instructions and multiple awareness programs; yet some are seen objecting to it based on the lifting of lockdowns by the GOI since 1 September. However, the situation is only worsening and public cooperation and individual responsibility is the need of the hour.”
In the last 24 hours, India has reported another global record jump in daily coronavirus infections with 97,894 cases, taking its tally past the 5 million mark. According to the Indian Health Ministry updates this morning, for the first time, the number of active cases in India have crossed 1 million mark and is in the third spot in fatalities after the US and Brazil.
Drawing attention to the disproportionately-high infection cases reported in Tibetan communities across India, Secretary Palden Dhondup reminded those objecting to the safety measures that their individual actions have far-reaching consequences.
He especially cautioned CTA staff, and said, “residents of Dharamsala, especially Gangkyi where the CTA is headquartered, must be extra cautious and strictly follow safety measures. We must work collectively to contain the risk of the COVID-19 transmission”..
Among the 33 new cases reported this week, the oldest patient is aged 93 and the youngest is 12; 17 are asymptomatic, 14 with mild symptoms and two’s status is serious. In sad news, 5 have died from the infection including 81 years old (M), 96 years old (F), 82 years old (M) from Ladakh, 85 years old (M) from Gangtok, 68 years old (M) from Bandara. Only 1 of the 5 suffered from comorbidities.
Dr Namdon, physician at Delek hospital advised strict adherence to safety measures such as wearing facemasks, frequent hand wash, maintaining 1 metre physical distance at all times.
Against the misconception that youngsters are not vulnerable to the disease, Dr Namdon said the coronavirus infection causes permanent damage to the lungs and its functionings despite recovering from the virus which could bring respiratory illnesses and recurrent infections.
Noting concerns about hospital visits among pregnant mothers, she advised contacting the doctors over phone to seek out an appointment. She also advised them to especially follow precautions because of their lowered immunity during pregnancy and hence vulnerability to the disease.
Dr Tsering Tsamchoe who also briefed the press conference advised people to follow the quarantine guidelines and to consume the SORIG immune boosters as prescribed.
“Although asymptomatic patients have been directed by the Indian government to observe home quarantine, in order to ensure the safety of all, the CTA community quarantine centres are facilitating those Tibetans with mild or no symptoms. So it is important that they follow quarantine strictly and consume SORIG medicines as prescribed,” Dr Tsamchoe said.
As of today, 640 are in quarantine across settlements in India and Nepal of which 322 in home quarantine, 318 in CTA set up quarantine centres. In Dharamsala, 47 are in quarantine.
Passive screening is ongoing across settlements. 7,189 Tibetans have been screened which includes 5512 elderlies, and 1677 from other vulnerable groups.
As today marks ‘World Patient Safety Day’ as designated by the WHO, Dr Tsamchoe asserted the role of healthcare providers in ensuring the safety of patients. Both through rational observation and Buddhist perspective, she said, their service to saving human lives should be acknowledged with highest respect.
She concluded by reiterating the advice on wearing facemasks correctly, refraining from touching any surface and frequent hand sanitising and avoiding unessential travel and gatherings.
This is the 25th press briefing on COVID-19 by CTA COVID-19 Task Force.