Tibetan Woman On Return From Delhi Tests Covid Positive

Dharamshala: A 63-year-old Tibetan woman from Phuntsokling Tibetan settlement in Dalhousie on Monday tested positive for COVID-19. She had been kept under institutional quarantine since she returned from New Delhi, one of India’s coronavirus hot spots.

“It is the first case that we’ve had. The patient is currently under treatment at a COVID-19 care center at a Civil Hospital in Dalhousie,” said Rapten Tsering, Tibetan Settlement Officer of Dalhousie.

With the woman having tested positive and the death of another Tibetan at Delhi, alarm has been sounded about the virus spreading among the refugee Tibetan community.

Officially, in India two Tibetans have died due to Corona so far. The first was A 69-year-old Tibetan man who died of Covid was from Dharamshala. He was tested & declared a Covid-19 patient after his death on march 23 at the Tanda Medical College.  This Tibetan, who lived in Dharamshala, had returned from US on March 21. He took a taxi from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport to McLeodganj.

“The second Tibetan Covid death was that of a 62-year-old Tibetan man, who died at Samyeling, the Tibetan settlement more commonly known as Majnu-ka-tilla in Delhi. Phuntsok Topgyal, a Tibeten official said, “this victim fell sick on May 29 and was subsequently admitted at Escorts Hospital on May 30 where he tested positive for the virus. He also suffered from the co-morbid conditions of diabetes and high blood pressure.” Contact tracing has led to about 14 people” being quarantined at the Samyeling settlement, said the official.

A website tracking the spread among the global community of Tibetans who are living outside Tibet has recorded 213 Covid positive cases of whom 40 are active. The website also reports the death of 8 Tibetans and 165 patients who have recovered from the infection.

Many Tibetans have returned to their homes across India after travel restrictions were relaxed. A 2009 census by the Central Tibetan Authority recorded a diaspora of 127,935 Tibetans. Of them there were 94,203 in India; 13514 in Nepal; 1298 in Bhutan 1,298; and 18920 living in other parts the world.

Apart from Tibetan community, as of today evening (5 p.m.), Himachal Pradesh has registered an accumulative total of 389 Covid positive cases of whom 189 have recovered. So far the health authorities have confirmed death of 5 victims from the virus.

Arvind Sharma is an award winning bi-lingual journalist with more than 20 years of experience. He has worked with Divya Himachal, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhasker, Vir Partap, Ajit and PTI. In 2010, he was conferred the Himachal Kesri journalism award. He reports on the Tibetan Government in Exile, politics, sports, tourism and other topics. He lives in Dharamshala.

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