onsdag 5. mai 2021

Tibetans Caught in India’s Second COVID Wave

Tibetan residents of India are being caught in rising numbers of COVID-19 infections as the country struggles with a second wave of the pandemic that has seen cases surge since March, sources say. India has now seen more than 300,000 new cases of infection each day for at least two weeks, with more than 350,000 testing positive in one recent day, and at least 220,000 deaths officially recorded, news sources say. Hospitals meanwhile report shortages of beds and oxygen supplies.

In Dharamsala, seat of Tibet’s exile government the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), a shortage of vaccines at Delek Hospital—the largest Tibetan hospital in India—has now put an end to a program aimed at inoculating Tibetans age 18 and over, one doctor said.

“For now, we don’t have any vaccines in Delek Hospital, but we have a few options we are working on,” Dr. Tenzin Tsundue told RFA’s Tibetan Service. “One idea is for us to collaborate with larger hospitals, as the amount of vaccines we would need would be too small for us to order directly from the supplier.”

Nearly 140 Tibetans living in Dharamsala have tested positive for COVID-19 since last week, and those numbers are rapidly climbing as the virus continues to spread through the community, Tsundue said. “I urge Tibetans to get vaccinated in government hospitals now if they get the chance,” Tsundue said, adding, “Don’t wait for the Delek Hospital to get more vaccines. This is a matter of necessity now, not of choice.”