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CTA President urges restrain amid surge in Covid-19 infections

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Left to right- Secretary of Health Dept. Palden Dhondup, President Penpa Tsering and Dr. Tenzin Tsundue during the public address via tibet TV (Screen grab)

By Tenzin Dharpo

DHARAMSHALA, Jan. 6: As India registers a sharp surge in new Covid-19 infections including the Omicron variant, the President of the exile Tibetan government, known officially as the Central Tibetan Administration, Penpa Tsering on Thursday made a public address where he urged the Tibetans to exercise safety measures and restrain from unnecessary travel ahead of the Tibetan new year.

Speaking to the public virtually through the official channel, the President urged the Tibetan seasonal garment sellers to not only follow precautionary good practices but also conduct Covid-19 tests as they conclude the season’s business and return to their homes, particularly to settlements spread across India. He also appealed to CTA staffs to restrain from travelling to their homes for the Losar or the Tibetan new year this time, against the threat of the looming third wave of the pandemic.

President Tsering reiterated his administration’s three prime commitments; inoculation drive, helping the infected medically and assisting those who are affected financially. We must collectively win the fight against the disease through cooperation among the settlement offices, local Covid-19 task forces and the public, the Sikyong said.

The CTA’s health department along with Dharamshala based Delek Hospital is preparing for contingencies including procuring booster shots or third dose and readiness in terms of medical facilities, President Tsering further said.

On Wednesday, 37 Tibetans in Dharamshala were reported to have tested positive for the virus amid surge in new infection in Kangra district where the CTA is based and where His Holiness the Dalai Lama resides. Majority of the infected were however reported to be with only mild symptoms. According to the CTA Covid data, there are 80 active cases in India and Nepal currently with the number of casualty standing 162 till date.

India reported 90,928 fresh COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, 56 per cent higher than yesterday’s 58,097 cases. The country has 2,630 cases of the Omicron variant – the most in Maharashtra with 797 cases, followed by Delhi with 465 cases, as per figures compiled by NDTV.

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