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Covid management in Tibet downgraded amid surging cases

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(TibetanReview.net, Jan13’23) – Amid unofficial reports about surging Covid-19 deaths, Chinese authorities in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) have downgraded the level of the pandemic’s management from Class A to Class B on Jan 9, according to China’s official chinadialy.com.cn Jan 13. And while China has not released any official report or data on Covid-19 infections, severe cases, and deaths in Tibet, this report itself shows that the situation is severe.

The plan for downgrading the Covid-19 management released by the TAR’s leading group office for Covid-19 was stated to outline 11 measures, including the vaccination of elderly people, investing in healthcare, enforcing new prevention and control measures and managing infections coming from overseas.

The report quoted Champa, head of the Tsalgongthang Township Health Center in Lhasa, as saying, “According to the plan, on the basis of 15 to 20% of the patient population served by the center, we have already stocked various types of medication — including Lianhua Qingwen capsules, cough and anti-pyretic medicines, and traditional Tibetan medicines.”

Champa has said his centre had a fever clinic and its stocked medications could meet the needs of at least 1,000 patients. Tellingly, he has added that the centre had served an average of 30 patients a day in the last two months. This would be the number of reported symptomatic cases alone.

Likewise, Tsering Tso, deputy head of the People’s Hospital of Yadong county – located near the border with Bhutan and the Indian state of Sikkim – in TAR’s Shigatse city has said her hospital had set up a new fever clinic “located near the entrance of the hospital, so it is closer and more convenient for patients as the former fever clinic was not easy to find and reach.”

She has further said, “In terms of providing intensive care for severe patients and targeted groups, our county has 66 severe monitored patients, and every patient is assigned with medics to follow up.” Severe cases usually constitute a tiny fraction of the total number of symptomatic and asymptomatic cases, which means that the spread of the pandemic even in this remote rural area may be substantial.

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