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Covid restrictions in Tibet strand thousands of Chinese tourists, blocks Nepal’s festival imports

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(TibetanReview.net, Aug23’22) – Nearly 4,500 tourists remained stranded in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) as of last weekend as coronavirus cases in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) reach a three-month high, reported the abc.net.au Aug 23, citing a TAR government spokesperson. The report cited China’s party mouthpiece The People’s Daily newspaper as saying the outbreak in TAR had spread to various provinces of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), not only the neighbouring province of Qinghai, but as far as Zhejiang province, which is next to the financial hub Shanghai.

TAR reported a total of 545 daily new cases on Aug 22, compared to 549 the day before, according to China’s official Xinhua news agency Aug 22 and 23, citing China’s National Health Commission. The region continued to be the second worst Covid-affected provincial-level region in the PRC.

The PRC reported on Aug 22 a total of 1,748 (compared to 1,824 the day before) daily new Covid-19 cases, including 308 locally-transmitted confirmed cases and 1,440 local asymptomatic carriers, said China’s official Xinhua news agency Aug 23, citing the National Health Commission that day.

The 308 symptomatic cases included 205 in the worst-affected Hainan province, 27 in TAR, 23 in Chongqing, and 2 in Qinghai Province.

And the 1,440 asymptomatic cases included 520 in Hainan, 518 (compared to 494 the day before) in TAR, 1,873 in Xinjiang, 77 in Shaanxi, and 54 (compared to 64 the day before) in Qinghai.

Qinghai reported 2 symptomatic cases (compared to none the day before) on Aug 22, and was the sixth worst Covid-affected provincial level region on that day.

Sichuan Province, which includes parts of the traditional Tibetan province of Kham, reported 6 symptomatic and 7 asymptomatic daily new cases.

Gansu Province, which includes parts of the traditional Tibetan province of Amdo, reported no symptomatic cases and 23 asymptomatic daily new cases.

And Yunnan Province, which includes a part of the traditional Tibetan province of Kham, reported 2 symptomatic and no asymptomatic daily new cases.

At least 33 people tested positive for the virus on the Z22 train from Tibet’s capital Lhasa to the Chinese capital and more passengers tested positive on the Z166 train from Lhasa to Shanghai, reported Chinese media outlet Caixin Aug 23. 

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Meanwhile, China has, once again, shut the Tatopani and Rasuwagadhi border points between Nepal and Tibet, citing an increase in the number of Covid cases in the cities near the transfer points. As a result, Nepalese traders are set to incur losses worth millions of Nepalese rupees ahead of the country’s Dashain festival.

Dashain Festival, the Nepali version of the Hindu festival Vijay Dashmi, is the biggest and longest festival and it will be celebrated this year from Sep 26 to Oct 5.

More than 300 Nepal-bound container trucks with goods worth billions of rupees, imported for the upcoming Dashain festival, have been stranded at the checkpoints on the northern border for the last two weeks, said media reports in Nepal.

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