By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, Aug 8: The CTA Covid-19 Emergency Task Force conducted a press briefing with the President of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) Penpa Tsering on Saturday to lay out policies for the upcoming months to confront the third wave of the pandemic. The executive members in the press release said that it will continue to prioritize vaccination among the Tibetan public, ensure sufficient supply of medical equipment, and provide relief funds for vulnerable Tibetans in settlements across India and Nepal.
Members of the Taskforce, Health secretary Palden Dhondup, Ment-Tsee-Khang Director Tashi Tsering Phuri, Delek Hospital’s chief administrator at Delek Hospital Dawa Phunkyi and Education secretary Jigme Namgyal along with Dr. Tenzin Tsundue and Dr. Rinchen Sangmo briefed the members of the press. The team said that they had issued directives to various settlement heads, departments, health centers and other relevant offices about the preparation ahead of the potential ‘third-wave’ in the country.
The Emergency Committee’s head Palden Dhondup said that the vaccination rate in the community is high due to the help of charity received from respective monasteries, organizations and individual philanthropists. According to the official data, 38.2% of the population has been fully vaccinated whereas 52.7% have received the first dose in India as of Saturday. It also informed that the Nepalese government has provided vaccinations for Tibetans without any discrimination against the undocumented people, covering almost 36% of the public in Nepal.
“As per our set priorities, we have had a high success rate in vaccination compared to developed nations,” the CTA President told the press. The committee has already ensured sufficient supplies of equipment in case of any future shortcomings. A sum of INR 3 crore has already been distributed to the economically affected Tibetans as a relief effort from the devastating second wave in India. The press release also announced that the task force committee will embark on visits to assess the impact on vulnerable communities with limited access to vaccination.
The Education Secretary Jigme Namgyal said that the schools have been affected the most during the pandemic as it has been difficult to conduct classes without the fear of spreading the disease. A total of INR 8.5 lakh has been allocated as relief funds to school and monastic institutions to procure PPEs, oxygen concentrators and combat ‘digital divide’ among the school children. Both the head doctors directed the public to tackle misinformation about Covid-19 on social media spaces in order for the community to protect oneself from the coronavirus strategically.