Nepal: The spread of COVID-19 originated from Wuhan, China and it’s outbreak to the whole world infected millions of people and taken lives of more than 40,000 till date. Many precautionary measures are being carried worldwide to control this pandemic through methods such as social distancing and lockdown.
In Nepal, the first positive case of COVID-19 infection was a student who returned from Wuhan, China. Since then, the Nepal government as a precautionary measure declared the whole nation lockdown from 24th March 2020.
The Central Tibetan Administration has also provided guidelines and aids for Tibetan. The representative of TRWO, Nepal, settlements officers, and all the staff are implementing these guidelines into practice and providing aids to the respective people of the settlements.
During the lockdown, Tibetan settlement offices in Nepal took major precautionary measures and relief activities under the guidance of the Central Tibetan Administration and the Tibetan Refugee Welfare Office.
The Tibetan people were made aware of the nationwide lockdown declared by the government of Nepal as a precautionary method to control the pandemic. The settlement offices in Nepal also decided to remain closed to follow the lockdown and staff carried out works from respective homes. Since the partial relaxation of lockdown in recent days, the staff has begun working from the respective office under the guidance from TRWO.
COVID -19 Nepal Tibetan Response Group was initially formed on 23rd March 2020 to control the COVID-19 pandemic among the Tibetan population in Nepal. The committee members conduct virtual meetings once a week presided by kungo donchoe. The committee includes a representative of dept of home, all settlement officers, Administrator, Health Officer and Education Officer of SLF, and SARD-Nepal co-ordinator, Director of TRC. The settlements actively discuss and update on the measures taken.
Weekly fever screening and sanitizing settlements are being carried out under the responsibility of Settlement offices in Pokhara (Tashiling, Tashi Palkhiel, Lodrik) and in Kathmandu (Samdupling, Choejor, Gyalsa Phaksing). The general public has been notified to stay safe at their home and within the boundary of settlements except for emergency situation. Quarantine centers are also arranged in Pokhara Settlements. Similarly, relief works such as essential medical goods & masks, cash, and rations are being distributed to the Tibetans. The awareness campaign on the official guidelines of COVID-19 is also being made frequently to the residence timely.
There are settlements located in remote areas far from the city and due to the imposition of nationwide lockdown, essential goods could not be distributed to these settlements (Manang, Nubri, Tserok, Walung, Rasuwa, Solukhumbu). However, The rations were stocked for a long time of almost a year usually in settlements like Walung. There have been no complaints regarding the shortages of since the lockdown was imposed. However, settlement officers of remote areas are putting in the best effort to send medical supplies and funds to the concerned people of the settlements. However, there are no cases of COVID-19 in Tibetan settlements in Nepal.
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-Filed by OOT Nepal