By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Mar. 24: An elderly Tibetan man died of COVID-19 at a hospital in London around 1 am (London Time) on 24 March 2020, becoming the second Tibetan in exile to die from the COVID-19 virus, Radio Free Asia reported. There are no other details at the moment.
The first case of death of an exiled Tibetan was reported when a 69-year old Tibetan residing in McLeod Ganj passed away at Tanda Medical college in Kangra with respiratory complications. His preliminary as well as final test came out positive for the COVID-19 virus. He reached Delhi on March 15 and returned to Dharamshala on March 21 evening.
The President of the exile Tibetan government, known officially as the Central Tibetan Administration, Dr. Lobsang Sangay during a live Facebook post on Tuesday morning revealed that the family of the deceased have cooperated fully with the authorities in contact-tracing and other protocols. Almost every person who has come in contact with the deceased has been notified and directed to self-quarantine.
Sangay said that the family performed the final rites late Monday night and that the family members have been placed under isolation as per guidelines from the government. The deceased was a former CTA official having served at the election commission and was a dedicated civil servant for many years for the exile Tibetan government.
The state of Himachal Pradesh has taken strict measures in light of the three cases so far in the state. The district of Kangra which was earlier placed under lockdown has now imposed curfew beginning 5pm local time of March 24 until further notice. District Commissioner Rakesh Prajapati who initiated the curfew under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, however, said that sale of essential commodities like food and medical items will be permitted to the public.
According to the Indian Ministry of Health, there are 470 confirmed cases and 10 deaths due to the COVID-19 virus.