39 new Covid cases among Tibetans in past week amid concern over Omicron variant’s spread

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Exile Tibetan Buddhist monks wear masks as protection against the coronavirus as they circumambulate the residence of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in Dharmsala, India. (Photo courtesy: AP/Ashwini Bhatia)

(TibetanReview.net, Dec03’21) – As the newly detected Omicron variant of the Sars-Cov-2 virus, which has been seen to be much more infectious and has forced countries to further tighten their borders, and as India reported its first two cases yesterday in Bangaluru, the exile Tibetan administration reported 39 fresh Covid cases among Tibetans in the Indian Subcontinent over the past one week.

The latest number, reported by the Covid taskforce of the Central Tibetan Administration at its 88th weekly briefing today, means that the cumulative total of reported Covid-19 cases among Tibetans in India and Nepal is now 6,935. Of them, 6,714 have recovered while 59 are active. A total of 162 have died, including three during the past one week.

Omicron has been declared a “virus of concern”, the highest level alert, by the World Health Organization and has been seen to be spreading rapidly. But little else is known about the variant, including its virulence and the effectiveness of the existing vaccines to counter it. South Africa, where it was first detected last month, has said the symptoms in the infected patients have so far been mild.

In India, a consortium of 28 laboratories monitoring genomic variations in coronavirus has recommended to New Delhi to consider Covid-19 booster dose for those who are 40 years and older amid the threat of Omicron, reported the ndtv.com Dec 3. The US and Britain have already cleared booster shots for some age groups.

Meanwhile, India reported 9,216 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours this morning, taking the country’s tally to 3,46,15,757. Active cases increased to 99,976 (0.29% of the total), while 340,45,666 (98.29%) have recovered, including 8,612 in the last 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated this morning.

The death toll climbed to 4,70,115 (1.36%) with 391 fresh fatalities, including 320 from Kerala, which also accounted for over 50% of the new infections over the past 24 hours.

Amid daily fluctuations, weekly and monthly cases have been continuing to decline in India.

However, the country is now reconsidering its decision to reopen for regular international flight services on Dec 15 following the Omicron variant’s outbreak.

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