Coronavirus Cases Climb to 17 in Sichuan’s Kardze Prefecture

Confirmed cases of Wuhan coronavirus infection in Sichuan’s Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture have now jumped to 17, Tibetan writer Woeser and a social media site run by the state-linked Khampa TV news outlet said on Feb. 6.

Of these, the highest number were confirmed in Kardze’s Tawu (Chinese, Daofu) county, with another two in Dartsedo (Kangding), two in Serta (Seda), and one in the area of Gyalrong, all in the historical Tibetan region of Kham.

Thirteen of those confirmed infected were male, and four were female, the sources said, adding that the age of those now under medical care ranged from 13 to 66.

Also on Thursday, the Kardze Health Commission identified the prefecture’s latest infections as two 13-year-old boys identified only by the names Kun and Ten, a 55-year-old woman named Ga, a 56-year-old man named Chong, and a 50-year-old man named Lo.

On Friday, the Kanlho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture Health Commission in neighboring Gansu province said that a 45-year-old woman named Rong has now been confirmed infected with the virus, bringing the number of confirmed cases in the prefecture to three, all of them residents of Tsoe city.

Meanwhile, Tibetans living in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) are worried about the possible spread of the coronavirus in the capital Lhasa, as they feel authorities have not taken adequate measures to limit the number of visitors entering the city.

Some measures have been enacted, but residents of the capital say these are not enough, with Han Chinese pouring into the city “without hindrance,” a Tibetan resident of the city told RFA in a report earlier this week.

“Even though there are bans on travel between Tibetan towns and cities, and between Chinese cities, the Chinese keep making their way to Lhasa,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“There is a real risk of spreading the virus not only in Lhasa, but all over the Tibet Autonomous Region,” the source said, adding, “The screenings of passengers at the train station and the airport are proving to be ineffective.”

Though flights to Lhasa from Wuhan, the city in Hubei identified as the source of the infection, have been suspended, flights to Lhasa from Chinese cities are still continuing and should be stopped, the source said.

Reported by RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Rigdhen Dolma. Written in English by Richard Finney.

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