Dharamshala: Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay and Health Kalon Choekyong Wangchuk chaired the routine briefing of the CTA Wuhan-COVID-19 Emergency Relief Committee to review the latest status and measures underway in tackling the COVID-19 situation in Tibetan settlements in India, Nepal and Bhutan.
The meeting was attended by the secretaries of all the concerned departments including Home, Finance, DIIR, Health and committee members.
Additional Secretary Dawa Tsultrim and Migmar Bhuti of Home department updated the committee on the status of the disbursement of Emergency Support Fund for distressed Tibetans. They also apprised the committee of around 1000 Tibetan college students who are stranded in 20 Indian cities.
Dharamshala Settlement Officer Kunga Tsering said his office has received over 200-300 phone calls from stranded Tibetans concerning e-passes for interstate travel. He also expressed concerns over certain Tibetan returnees to Dharamshala who have failed to report to the settlement office of their arrival. He pointed out that most of them had recently arrived via flight and he has subsequently urged the DC office to share the details of the Tibetan passengers so the office could track them and instruct quarantine.
Speaking on the rescheduling of CTA work hours, Sikyong explained that it is in line with the central government’s reopening of the government and private offices and to boost productivity at the workplace which had been adversely impacted in the previous phases of lockdown. Sikyong stressed that vulnerable groups such as the elderly, pregnant mothers and special needs amongst CTA staff are exempted.
Additional Secretary Dhondul Dorjee of the Department of Religion and Culture briefed the Sikyong on the ongoing prayer ceremonies for the deceased and those suffering from COVID-19 and their families at Namgyal monastery and next week prayer scheduled at Gaden Choeling nunnery. He apprised the Sikyong of the prayer requests received from Nepal.
Dr Kunchok Tsundue, Chief Planning Officer discussed the concerning state of COVID-19 cases especially in the districts of Tibetan settlement and sweater selling businesses.
Health Kalon Choekyong Wangchuk gave an overview of the quarantine arrangements in Tibetan settlements which he described were adequate as per the need. However, in view of the increasing returnees to Dharamshala, Kalon addressed the extraordinary needs and staff requirements for quarantine centre here in Dharamshala. He thus requested the departments to appoint a staff each to act as coordinators at the new quarantine facilities.
Sikyong suggested a uniform process of conducting swab tests across all the quarantine facilities, ie, on the 7th day to ensure detection at the most evident stage of COVID-19 symptoms.
Information Secretary Tsewang Gyalpo Arya apprised the committee of the cab services being arranged to ferry stranded Tibetans safely from their entry point to their exit point, avoiding red zones.
TCRC Director Namgyal Lhekshey updated the Sikyong on the status of the COVID-19 webpage to which Sikyong requested the concerned secretaries to share the webpage on their social media accounts to inform the public on COVID-19 related guidance.
Visit CTA’s official COVID-19 Emergency Relief Committee website for details.