Dharamshala: Briefing on the pandemic status in the Tibetan community, Dr. Tsamchoe shared that at least 180 cases of coronavirus had been reported in the Tibetan community in India and Nepal this week.
According to the CTA Task Force on Wuhan originated COVID-19, out of the 180 Tibetans who tested positive, 8 are from Delhi, 13 from Ladakh, 18 from Hunsur, 3 from Miao, 6 from Bylakuppe, 4 from Tezu, 1 from Dharamshala, 117 from Mundgod, and 10 from Nepal.
The oldest among them is 88-yr-old and the youngest is 2-yr-old. Unfortunately, 81 yr-old man from Mundgod passed away this week.
After tallying the total number of cases in India and Nepal, a total of 535 cases were reported: 233 recoveries,15 deaths, and 287 active cases.
Given the rise in cases each day, Dr. Tsamchoe emphasised the cruciality of aggressive contact tracing as appealed in a press briefing held previously.
She informed that a workshop on the implementation of contact tracing is underway in the settlements and so far around 45 individuals have received the workshop.
As for the updates on a routine prevention and containment measures undertaken by the CTA, Dr. Tsamchoe gave the weekly quarantine status and initiatives taken by the relevant committees across Tibetan settlements. She reported that a total of 755 are in a quarantine of which 327 of them are at home quarantine and 428 at the CTA facilitated quarantine center. Regarding the screening status, around 1917 people in the Ghankyi area have been screened and 2114 from the Tibetan settlements across India and Nepal were screened.
Dr Tsamchoe further reported that SORIG immune boosters are being distributed to the public with successful results, 3507 Tibetans in quarantine, 9910 elderlies from the age group of 65 and above across Nepal, Bhutan, and India, similarly, 1618 healthcare workers and frontline volunteers, 3890 chronic patients, and Tibetans abroad have benefitted from the free SORIG provisions. Also around 2635 Tibetans abroad have received the SORIG immune booster.
In the meantime, she urged the Tibetans to assess the severity of the situation and be consistent with the precautionary measures until the threat posed by the virus can be repressed.
She has also made an urgent appeal for frontline volunteers to join the efforts to fight coronavirus in the Tibetan community.
Dr Tsundue of Delek Hospital addressed the rising confusion many are facing over the symptoms of COVID-19.
“Major symptoms include fever, body ache, dry cough, fatigue, loss of appetite, loss of smell” explained Dr Tsundue and added that anyone experiencing any one of these symptoms to get an immediate check-up.
He emphasised the critical need for testing, contact tracing, and social distancing as the only way to stop the spread of the virus.
Dr Tsundue cited a recent study conducted by epidemiologist Ramanan Laxminarayan and his team who after having researched the states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu found that over 70% of index cases – ‘original’ or primary cases found through testing – infected no further people, while fewer than 10% of index cases were responsible for nearly 60% of further infections.
Those responsible for a rapid spread of infection has been termed as ‘superspreaders’ meaning that some section of people transmits much more than others.
“By finding those superspreaders in the early stage, we could significantly reduce the transmission by large percentage”, said Dr Tsudue and appealed a strict restriction on travel and gathering unless absolutely necessary.