Dharamshala: Addressing the 26th Press briefing on the COVID-19 situation in the Tibetan community, Additional Secretary of Health Department, Jampa Phuntsok highlighted the importance of contact tracing amid the concern over the rise of cases in India, particularly in the Tibetan community. He urged the settlement heads to implement the practice of aggressive contact tracing as provided by the experts at Johns Hopkins University.
In addition, Tibetans were urged to completely cooperate with the guidelines issued by the Health Department and follow coronavirus preventive measures as the fight against the pandemic continues.
Briefing on the pandemic status in the Tibetan community, Dr. Tsamchoe shared that 62 cases had been reported this week: 1 in Hunsur, 1 in Bylakuppe, 1 in Rajpur, 4 in Gangtok, 7 in Ladakh, 46 in Mundgod, and 1 in Dehradun. The youngest among them is a 3-yr-old and the oldest is 88-yr-old. Of the 62 cases, 22 of them show symptoms and the rest were asymptomatic.
Unfortunately, 90 yr-old man in Ladakh passed away this week. After tallying the number of cases in India and Nepal, 357 cases were reported, 198 recoveries, 12 deaths, and 147 active cases.
Dr. Tsamchoe advised that apart from serious cases, those with mild and moderate symptoms should observe at least 14 days home quarantine.
She further briefs that a total of 803 Tibetans are under quarantine across 34 facilities in India and 4 in Nepal. Of those, 336 are in-home quarantine and 467 are in the CTA community quarantine centers and 143 of them at the center in Dharamshala.
SORIG immune boosters are being distributed to the public with successful results, 2490 Tibetans in quarantine, 9668 elderlies from the age group of 65 and above across Nepal and India, similarly,1255 healthcare workers and frontline volunteers, 1990 chronic patients, and Tibetans abroad have benefitted from the free SORIG provisions.
The COVID-19 monitoring committee has tested as of this week 1445 Tibetans residing in premises of CTA including 7055 Tibetans from India and Nepal were tested.
In the meantime, she suggested healthy dietary habits, adequate sleep, caring for mental health, and travel restriction as steps to curb the virus.
In the present circumstance where no cure is yet found, Dr Tsundue of Delek Hospital suggested consistent wearing of masks and social distancing as the best measure. He emphasised the implementation of contact tracing in the communities as cases are hiking daily.
He explained that contact tracing must be performed at once in cases of significant contacts. Significant contacts are those who are found to be in direct contact with the infected in the absence of protection gears for 15 mins or more. Those significant contacts are further advised for 14 days home quarantine.
As the government lifted restrictions on travel whereas many tourists are visiting Dharamshala without COVID test results, Dr Tsundue advised Tibetans to remain vigilant and cautious.