Thirty-two under observation for Wuhan coronavirus infection in ‘Tibet’ discharged, annual religious gathering cancelled

A young man hands out face masks to guard against infection in an unidentified part of Tibet, Jan. 29, 2020. (Photo courtesy: RFA)

(, Feb09’20) – None of the 32 people who were known to have had contact with the only reported case of novel coronavirus pneumonia infection in Tibet Autonomous Region, reported on Jan 29, had contracted the disease and were discharged on Feb 8 from the different hospitals in which they were put under observation, reported China’s official Feb 8. However, the only confirmed patient, surnamed Zhang, 34, a male resident of Suizhou, Hubei province, continues to be under treatment in Capital Lhasa. Elsewhere, an annual religious gathering at a major monastery in Qinghai province attracting some 200,000 devotees has been cancelled as precaution against the virus’s spread.

The report said the 32 people had been isolated in several designated hospitals for medical observation in the region’s cities of Lhasa, Shigatse, Lhokha and Nagchu over the past 14 days. They were stated to have met the medical standards of removal from isolation on Feb 8 as they did not have any fever, coughing, or other symptoms.

The region’s health authorities’ cautions to the residents on the basic knowledge of disease prevention includes avoiding gatherings, which could mean no annual religious festival gatherings, including the one on the 15th day of the Tibetan New Year.

Already at Taer (Tibetan: Kumbum) Monastery in neighbouring Qinghai Province, this festive gathering has been cancelled, according to an official Xinhua news agency report Feb 5. The report said the grand gathering scheduled later this month was cancelled as a part of the novel coronavirus epidemic control efforts.

The report said the gathering is annually held on China’s Lantern Festival, which falls on the 15th day of the first lunar month, Feb 8 this year, to celebrate the full moon. It added that with an exhibition on “ghee flowers,” a local artwork made of yak butter dyed with colourful minerals, the festival normally attracts around 200,000 followers and visitors every year.


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