Dharamshala: As the threat of a third wave of Covid-19 looms large in the not so distant future, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay has called for a complete lockdown in Tibetan settlements across India for one week from 10 May.
“What we need now is collective and coordinated effort to break the chain no matter what and buy time till vaccines are available for all,” he said in a press briefing today.
“Realistically, it will take at least two years to inoculate 100 percent of the population and till next spring, to vaccinate the 60 percent in order to reach minimum herd immunity,” he noted. “The coming weeks, months are very, very crucial.”
A top scientific adviser to the Indian government warned on Wednesday the country would inevitably face the third wave of Covid-19. The scale and impact of which is predicted to be devastating beyond measure.
“Three things need to be done here. The first is vaccination, second is strict and absolute lockdown to break the chain and the third, self-regulatory precautions,” said Sikyong. “Be fastidious with wearing masks, social distancing and take every precaution for one’s own safety as well as others.”
The CTA headquarters in Dharamshala is fast emerging as a new hotspot for Covid with more than 60 staff infected among a total of 164 cases of Tibetans in the hill town as of Tuesday. Three died this week, all (2 F;1 M) in their fifties.
Meanwhile, Sikyong issued an urgent appeal to the settlement offices pan India to begin efforts for procuring vaccines for all adults in their respective jurisdictions through consultation with the Department of Health, CTA. He said Kashag has already begun the efforts, although the GOI rollout continues to cut scarce.
He also announced an additional budget of 100 lakh rupees allocated and dispensed for Covid management and relief in the settlements across India, in addition to 600 lakhs already spent from CTA’s savings.
Overall in India and Nepal, 484 new cases (eldest being 87 years old and youngest 8 months old) and 8 deaths were reported over the past one week, taking total infections to 2934 and the death toll to 61, said Tenzin Dasel, Health department at the CTA Covid Response task force briefing. Active cases stand at 1069 with 1804 recovery.