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Covid deaths increase in Tibet due to restrictions on access to hospitals

The Covid mortality surge has made lives of Tibetans increasingly difficult due to current restrictions on access to hospitals and other medical facilities, reported Tibet Press.

Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

ANI Asia
The Covid mortality surge has made lives of Tibetans increasingly difficult due to current restrictions on access to hospitals and other medical facilities, reported Tibet Press.
Tibetans are not allowed to use the medical facilities, and the entire problem is being handled behind closed doors without anyone in the outside world knowing.
Tibetans endure unending suffering and death at the hands of ruthless Chinese rule, as well as the current Covid pandemic, reported Tibet Press.
Due to the current restrictions on access to hospitals and other medical facilities. Four individuals, including two local government workers, perished on January 7 in Dragyab county, Chamdo prefecture, according to sources who spoke with Radio Free Asia (RFA).
Additionally, according to some sources, the dead are reportedly being transported in huge numbers from nearby districts to the Larung Gar Buddhist Academy in Serta county, Sichuan, for cremation.
According to sources, the Chinese government has in the meantime reopened Tibet to tourists from other parts of China. In Lhasa, officials have announced the free entrance to the city's tourist sites, reported Tibet Press.
When the epidemic struck, the government's Zero COVID policy resulted in harsh, unjustified measures and seriously endangered the lives of the Tibetan people. The outbreak started on August 7th, 2022, and lockdowns commenced immediately after, reported Tibet Press.
As usual, China barred journalists and other observers from entering Tibet in order to assess the gravity of the situation there and to learn more about it.
The only source of information was the Chinese media, which is definitely the most biased channel because it totally complies with the government's intentions.
The Chinese government made sure to emphasize that the outbreak originated in the Tibetan region and that it appeared to be the third-generation sub-variant of Omicron. They even went so far as to say that the specific variety had not yet been seen anywhere in China, reported Tibet Press.
After stringent lockdowns designed to stop the spread of the disease were lifted by Chinese authorities in early December, Tibetan sources report that COVID deaths had risen in Tibetan parts of China.
According to a source who lives in Tibet, since the zero-COVID policy's limits were loosened on December 7 in response to protracted demonstrations across China, more than 100 people have perished in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.
According to the source, 64 victims have burnt in the Drigung Cemetery in Maldro Gongkar alone on January 2. Additionally, 30 bodies were cremated at the Tsemonling Cemetery, 17 bodies at the Sera Cemetery, and another 15 bodies at a cemetery in Toelung Dechen, reported Tibet Press.
Other sources reported that COVID has also claimed the lives of Tibetans in the western Chinese provinces of Sichuan, Gansu, and Qinghai's Ngaba, Sangchu, Kardze, and Lithang regions. So many remains were taken to Ngaba's Kirti monastery in Sichuan that some were left out to feed the vultures.
According to a Tibetan resident of Sichuan's Derge county who spoke to RFA under the condition of anonymity in order to avoid drawing the notice of authorities, "COVID has penetrated every corner of Tibet."
The public was already worried that China might conceal information regarding the pandemic's progress after the loosening of limitations, but on December 25 the National Health Commission of China declared that it will stop publishing the daily COVID case counts.
Chinese authorities in Tibet are clamping down on taking photos or video recordings at local cemeteries to keep news of rising COVID deaths in the region from reaching the outside world, reported RFA.
After lockdowns to stop the spread of the disease were lifted by authorities in the first few days of December, the number of fatalities in Tibetan regions of China has risen again. According to a local source who spoke on the condition of anonymity for security reasons, between 15 to 20 bodies are now transported daily to a cemetery in the Tibetan Autonomous Region's Drigung and to other cemeteries in the city of Lhasa.
The condition of Tibetan people demands international assistance and that such cruel and unfair activities be stopped. While the rest of the globe is recovering from the Covid outbreak, Tibetans continue to struggle for access to basic services rather than having the time to heal.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jan 26 2023 | 5:41 PM IST

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