Depiction of coronavirus syndrome. Photo: Getty Images

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While COVID-19 and its variants are still raging around the world, the Tibetan exile communities in India and Nepal have reported zero infections for the first time.

According to official CTA media, the 104th briefing was held in Dharamshala, India, on April 1 by by the task force on outbreak control of the Central Tibetan Administration. The latest outbreak report shows that since the outbreak of COVID-19 in India and Nepal in 2020, a total of 9,150 Tibetans living in exile in the two countries have been infected so far, of whom 8,982 have recovered and the remaining 168 have died. And for the first time, the current new outbreak has reported zero infections.

Dr Gyatso of Delek Hospital in Dharamsala, India, emphasised that although the number of cases of COVID-19 in India continues to be low, compliance with the precautionary rules for the outbreak is imperative and cannot be ignored. He urged people to continue wearing masks in public.

The vaccination status announced at the briefing showed that a total of 50,052 Tibetans over 18 years of age are currently fully vaccinated in India and 7,129 in Nepal. The number of people partially vaccinated with the first dose of vaccine is 328 in India. The number of fully vaccinated Tibetans under the age of 18 in exile is 1,164 and 109 in Nepal.

The report notes that since the introduction of the booster shot in India in January this year, 3,627 people over the age of 60 have received the booster vaccine in India and 181 in Nepal. In addition, 589 frontline workers have received the booster vaccine.

At the briefing, the Central Tibetan Administration Ministry of Health presented the assistance provided by the Tibetan Medicare System (TMS) from 2020 to 2021 when India is hit hard by the second wave of the pandemic, including financial assistance worth Rs 1.7 million for 109 TMS enrollees and a daily booster vaccine for those admitted to ICUs and general wards. COVID-19 infected patients in ICU and general wards at a rate of Rs 7,000 and Rs 3,500 per day respectively.