News and Views on Tibet

TCV partly closes as “precaution” amid COVID-19 fear

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Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon

By Tenzin Dharpo

DHARAMSHALA, Feb. 3: The largest Tibetan school in exile has sent back more than half of its students back to their homes as “precaution” amid the spread of the COVID-19 virus that is  now prevalent in 76 countries, with 90,000 cases worldwide.

The school’s President Thupten Dorjee told Phayul on Tuesday that the measure is taken strictly as precaution and not to fuel public fear over the spread of the virus. “There are over 8000 students under the care of various TCV schools and close to 1400 students here at Upper TCV school. We feel that at the moment, safety of the students is more important than resuming the classes.”

Dorjee said that even though there are no cases in the state, the step taken by the board is to mitigate risks of spreading the virus especially in a school where hundreds of students live together. “The board will meet and decide on the date of return for the students to the school which will be notified later,” he further added.

The decision by the board has put many parents and students confused with many saying the board could have announced it earlier saving them time and money as they now have to return to their homes, some of them from as far as remotest villages in the east.

On Monday, the Indian capital registered it’s first confirmed case bringing the toll to five in the nation; one in Telangana state and remaining in Kerala state. Worldwide, the virus has claimed 3130 lives according to the latest WHO statistic. Experts say that the rate of virus’s spread outside its epicenter in China is concerning and that well equipped nations such as the United States have already registered 6 deaths as of Tuesday.

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