69-year-old is first Tibetan Covid-19 infection, first death in Kangra district

The TIPA Road Area of McleodGanj. (Photo courtesy: Reuters)

(TibetanReview.net, Mar24’20) – A 69-year old Tibetan man named Tenzin Choephel (mentioned in some reports as Tenzin Chudan or Tenzin Choedhen), a resident of Mcleod Ganj, Dharamshala, has died on Mar 23, becoming the first Tibetan known to be infected by the China-exported Covid-19 global pandemic, and the first person in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh to die from the infection. Dr Rajendra Prasad Medical College Hospital in Tanda, Kangra, where he died, has found him infected with the virus in a preliminary test which remains to be confirmed by the National Institute of Virology, Pune.

The man was stated to have returned from a trip to the USA with his wife, landing at New Delhi airport on Mar 15 and taking a taxi a few days later to arrive in Dharamshala on Mar 21. He developed respiratory problem on Mar 23 and was taken to a private hospital which referred him to the government-run Dr Rajendra Prasad Medical College Hospital at Tanda, Kangra.

After he tested positive for the Covid-19 infection, all the hospital staff who had contact with him were quarantined. All other persons who had contact with him, including the taxi driver, were identified and put in isolation.

The deceased was a long-time resident and owner of a hotel in Mcleod Ganj.

Tenzin Choephel’s case brought the number of Covid-19 infections in the state to three. The previous two, residents of Doba village and Lanj area, both in Shahpur Town of Kangra district, were returnees from Singapore and Dubai. Both are facing legal actions for failing to cooperate with the authorities, according to media reports.

Earlier, Chief Medical Officer GD Gupta of Kangra District had said Mar 21 that the total number of asymptomatic cases in Kangra totaled 575. He added that 52 of the total asymptomatic cases had completed 28 days of observation, 180 had left the state while 150 persons were in quarantine in their homes, reported tribuneindia.com Mar 21. Two were stated to be quarantined in hospital.

The district administration was also tracing 191 people who had travelled abroad in the recent past, the report added.


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