Dharamshala: This week’s COVID-19 cases within the Tibetan community stands at 36: 2 from Sonada, 1 from Kollegal, 2 from Chauntra, 4 from Delhi, 4 from Bylakuppe, 1 from Tenzin Khang, 2 from Miao, 1 from Mainpat, 1 from Hunsur, 13 from Mundgod, 2 from Orissa, 1 from Rajpur, 1 from Dehradun and 1 from Ladakh. Of the total, 28 were male and 8 female, 23 displayed symptoms and 13 were asymptomatic, with the oldest patient aged 84 and youngest aged 19. In an unfortunate development, an 80 year old man from Sonada and 84 year old man from Mundgod passed away.
COVID-19 cases in India has been rapidly rising across the country, with India at 2nd highest cases of infection after the US. Despite crossing 80% in recovery rate, its transmission rate is at 100.80% representing a huge risk.
Addressing the 27th Press briefing on the COVID-19 situation in the Tibetan community, Secretary Palden Dhondup of the Department of Health, CTA issued new guidelines concerning reopening of Tibetan schools following the 5th phase of unlock by the GOI.
Reviewing the reopening of schools in Europe and the US, the task force committee advised schools against reopening until late-January 2021. However, those re-opening before that should ensure that a prevention committee preferably with larger members is set up prior to the reopening.
Teachers, staff, and students responsibly and strictly follow precautions and assessing the situation, Secretary Palden Dhondup said.
For schools reopening with parents’ consent, he advised screening students for symptoms and ensuring 14-days mandatory quarantine under the 24-hour supervision of a doctor or a nurse and direct those with symptoms to undergo quarantine.
Most importantly, prevention committee is advised to ensure that anyone detected with symptoms in the schools undergo quarantine and further inform district officials and receive COVID-care treatment. “Especially for Tibetans to inform the Health Department of CTA about the account of their illness.”
Vocational training centres have also been urged to adhere to guidelines issued by the National Skill development Corporation and State Skill Development Mission.
Reiterating the basic precaution measures, he reminded that students must wear facemasks, sanitize hands frequently and maintain 2 metre physical distance.
On the importance of contact tracing, he shared that after the removal of travel restrictions completely, CTA has undertaken contract tracing training to about 25 staff of the Welfare Office, led by the Officer in Dharamsala and similarly to around 26 healthcare workers across settlements and extending them to more people, including NGOs. He further stressed importance of testing for timely detection and treatment of disease at an early stage limiting the damage caused.
Dr Tsamchoe reviewed the weekly quarantine status of Tibetans in exile: 722 in quarantine, 310 in home quarantine, 412 in CTA set up quarantine centres.
As testing facilities have improved in India recently, 35 were tested last week in Dharamsala whose results came back negative, and 697 have been tested so far in Dharamsala, of which 411 were male and 286 were female.
SORIG boosters have benefitted 21,151 people, including vulnerable groups, frontline workers, and Tibetan communities abroad.
Sanitization drive is ongoing across settlements led by Settlement Officers and volunteer efforts.
Passive screening is in progress in Dharamsala and across settlements in India and Nepal, which has covered 6405 in total, of which 5022 were above age 60, 1383 belonged to vulnerable groups, 1888 residing in Dharamsala.
Mental health committee contacted and provided emotional support to about 100 people, including those who tested positive this week and those in quarantine.
Dr Tsamchoe updated guidelines from SORIG herbal tradition: SORIG treatment medicines are prescribed based on individual health factors and are not uniform in their benefits; healthy diet consisting of greens, fruits, dairy, eggs and hot boiled water, honey prevent infection and mild physical activity with adequate sleep can boost health.
Dr Namdon of Delek hospital said the reopening of activities in Unlock 5 amidst the rising cases were forced by economic reasons therefore, advised caution as tourists are coming in large numbers.
She also emphasized avoiding public places, and wearing facemasks and maintaining physical distance at all times in public spaces.