(TibetanReview.net, Apr29’20) – After allowing the reopening of 214 religious places in the rural part of Tibet’s capital Lhasa on Mar 31, China has declared open on Apr 28 the city’s Barkhor Street, a scenic spot that encircles the Jokhang Temple. The authorities cited the absence of new confirmed or suspected Covid-19 cases in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) for 89 days for the reopening, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Apr 2.
Temple and monasteries in the urban part of Lhasa continue to remain closed and this includes the Jokhang Temple, considered the most sacred in Tibet. These include the three seat monasteries of Sera, Drepung nad Gaden, famed as Tibet’s top religious learning centres and which are centuries old.
The report cited the management committee of the neighbourhood of the old city area of Lhasa as saying the street would open at 8 am and closes at 8 pm. People had to wear masks and get their temperature taken before being let out on the street.
The report said Shops along the street had also resumed business.
The street was closed on Jan 27 following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in China, with restaurants, sweet tea houses and souvenir shops shut to prevent the gathering of crowds.
Tibet reported its first and only confirmed Covid-19 case in late Jan 2019, which was brought by a visitor from Wuhan city, the original epicentre in central China of the pandemic’s outbreak in late 2019. He recovered and was discharged in February and there has been no new case since.
Meanwhile China’s official globaltimes.cn reported Apr 28 that under a notice issued on Apr 12, Pulan (Tibetan: Purang) and Gyirong (Kyirong), Tibet-Nepal border ports in Xigaze (Shigatse) Prefecture in TAR, would continue to be closed for passage of people.