Dharamshala: As the world continues to battle what’s being described as the worst public health crisis in recent history—the Wuhan-origin COVID-19, some reassuring news has emerged for the people of Himachal Pradesh with regard to the containment of the disease.
Today the President of Central Tibetan Administration Dr Lobsang Sangay announced that the samples of close contacts of the deceased patient of Coronavirus have all tested negative.
“This comes as a positive and reassuring news for everyone in Himachal Pradesh and especially for Tibetans. Furthermore, as per our confirmation with the DC office, as of now there are no new cases of COVID-19 in Himachal Pradesh,” he said.
Among those whose samples were taken today were family members and friends, two taxi drivers and a family who’d travelled with the patient. There are also no known cases of infections among those who stayed at the same hotel as the patient in Manjuka Tilla, Delhi.
“The list of the persons have been shared with all the concerned settlement offices and so far, we have received no cases of infections.”
However, he said the second case of Tibetan in exile to have succumbed to coronavirus has been reported from London, according to information from the concerned Office of Tibet. The deceased, Kashopa Jamyang Cheogyal was a renowned Tibetan scholar based in London who passed away due to coronavirus on Tuesday.
“I offer my sincere condolences to the family of the deceased and ask Tibetans worldwide to remember him in prayers,” President Dr Sangay said as he presented a brief bio of late Kashopa Jamyang Choegyal.
“Kashopa Jamyang Choegyal was a reputed Tibetan scholar and translator with a great command over Tibetan, Chinese and English. He studied in Darjeeling, India and did further studies in Beijing. Late Kashopa Jamyang Choegyal had served in Tibet as well in exile, bringing tremendous impact to the lives and welfare of the people.”
“He will be remembered for his incredible service and contribution to Tibet and the Tibetan cause,” said President Sangay.
Concerning the cases of infections among Tibetans, Dr Sangay said there are reports of 3 Tibetans from France, Switzerland and Italy to have been infected with COVID-19.
“I urge everyone once again to practice social distancing and follow the prescribed precautionary measures to protect yourself and your loved ones from this disease,” he said.
In the meantime, the Kashag administration has allocated a total of 30 lakh (8 lakh plus 22 lakh) for coronavirus-related spending and has constituted a coronavirus task force to provide support and response to Tibetan communities in tackling COVID-19.
The task force is presided by Kalon Choekyong Wangchuk, Dept of Health and two former personal physicians of His Holiness the Dalai Lama Dr Tseten and Dr Tamding and several other health professionals.
An urgent announcement for Tibetans with foreign passports currently in India:
With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic worldwide and the imposition of curfew and lockdown all over India, many Tibetans holding foreign passport may be stranded in the country. Here in Himachal, Kangra’s district authority has advised submission of the list of all Tibetans who have entered India on or after February 15, 2020. Therefore, all Tibetans falling under said category should register themselves with our Security office (Mr Kalsang of Desung office @ 9882255209) and provide the following information at the earliest:
- Full Name:
- Country of Citizenship:
- Passport Number:
- Passport validity:
- Date of Arrival in India:
- Date of visa expiry:
- Country visited prior to arrival in India:
- Local Address:
- Local Phone contact:
Tibetans with foreign passport in other regions in India and Nepal, who had entered the regions on or after 15th February, are also requested to register themselves with the nearest Tibetan Settlement office and provide the above-listed information at the earliest. The Settlement offices should file the list to the local FRRO / SP office.
As per the directives issued by the Central and local government of India, one could face penalty including imprisonment for not reporting your arrival in India after 15th February. Tibetan administration and local Tibetan settlement offices may not be able to help secure visa extension and exit permit later if registration is not done as per the directives.