By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Oct. 30: The last week has seen 160 new cases of Covid-19 among Tibetans in India, Nepal and Bhutan, the Exile Tibetan government, known officially as the Central Tibetan Administration’s Covid-19 Task Force said Thursday.
The new cases have come from various Tibetan settlements such as Bylakuppe- 35, Ladakh-9, Mainpat-5, Dickyling-4, Hunsur-2, Orrisa-4, and 1 each from Miao, Dharamshala and Kollegal, as well as 2 cases from Kathmandu, Nepal. The worst hit area continues to be Doeguling Tibetan settlement in Mundgod where 96 new cases have been discovered and a death was recorded of an 84-year-old who had a pre-existing condition of suffering from diabetes.
Among the new cases, 147 males have disproportionately been affected as supposed to just 13 females. The total number of cases among Tibetans in the Indian sub-continent now stands at 943, of which 491 have recovered, 430 are active and 22 have perished, according to CTA data. The total number of 13,084 people have been tested by CTA health infrastructure till date.
The worsening situation in Mundgod, the worst hit with 96 cases and a death last week has prompted Tibetans from around the world to pour in with solidarity and monetary support. Social worker and community leader Dagmo Kalden Dunkyi Sakya’s grassroots fundraising platform raised over 8 Lakh rupees ($ 10,725) for ‘Frontline Covid heroes of Mundgod Tibetan Settlement’, the hardworking health care workers of the Doeguling Tibetan Refugee (DTR) hospital.
The funds, Dagmo Kalden stated will be handed over to the Gajang Medical Society to be used for the treatment of Covid-19 patients, to purchase PPE kits, honorarium for the frontline staff especially nurses, nursing aides and ambulances staffs, among other things. The first batch of PPE kits purchased from the fund has already reached DTR hospital.
“The healthcare workers are working very hard to curb and combat the Covid -19 crisis despite tremendous challenges and risking their lives and the lives of their family members. The Frontline Team led by four young Tibetan doctors is currently witnessing first hand the incredible challenges that their staff face daily, and understand the urgent need to support the frontline staff emotionally, spiritually and financially in every possible way,” she wrote in her fundraising plea.
The small DTR hospital team have been working around the clock since the pandemic began months ago and more so since the discovery of Covid-19 cluster cases in the settlement, is massively understaffed. Sources say that hospital staff and their families have also been infected along the way since the pandemic began.