Lhasa [Tibet], September 17 (ANI): Three Tibetans are reportedly died of COVID as the Chinese authorities failed to give them timely medical care, Radio Free Asia reported citing sources.
There is an upsurge in the COVID cases in Tibet and as per the media outlet quoting sources, the Tibetans are being held in quarantine facilities by the Chinese authorities without proper medical care or sanitation and irrespective of the fact whether the people have COVID or not.
In the case of these three deaths, all of them died at home after failing to receive timely medical care, sources told RFA. “They died because they did not get the treatment they needed on time,” one source said, speaking on the condition of anonymity for security reasons.
Moreover, as per reports, there are discrepancies in terms of the number of COVID deaths in Tibet reported by the Chinese government. According to the RFA source, the Chinese government has not reported a single death due to COVID in Tibet.
The RFA source shared some painstaking details of the inside story of Tibet’s quarantine facilities. “But we believe that many Tibetans have died, and the authorities are confining people together in quarantine facilities whether they are COVID positive or not,” the source said.
He gave the background of the three persons who died of COVID at their homes due to the lack of facilities.
Sources in Tibet and in exile identified the dead as Penpa Tsering from Lhasa Toelung Dechen (in Chinese, Duilongdeqing); Ajho Penpa from Shigatse (Rikaze); and an unidentified Tibetan in Gyantse (Jiangzi).
Local netizens complain of harsh and unsanitary quarantine procedures, RFA has learned.
Penpa Tsering, 62, was a doctor by profession and had lived in India, but was unable to return after travelling to Tibet in 2005 to visit relatives, RFA’s source said. “After getting COVID, he experienced a severe cough and body aches, which led to his death at home,” the source said.
In a rather shocking and grim disclosure of the turn of events, a Tibetan living in exile while citing contacts in Tibet said that in Shigatse, Ajho Penpa’s family was not allowed to burn his body for six days.
“But local Chinese staff eventually came to take his body away. A sign that read ‘COVID positive family’ was then hung outside their door.”
This comes as the COVID lockdown of Shanghai is still fresh in the minds of the people. Chinese authorities imposed a lockdown 31 days ago in Lhasa as COVID numbers there and across China continue to climb, with government sources reporting 16,327 cases of infection in the TAR alone by Thursday, reported RFA.
The ongoing lockdown restrictions in Tibet to contain the spread of COVID-19 has drastically affected the day-to-day lives of the people due to food shortage as well.
Tibetan netizens said the lockdown order came leaving them no time to prepare, with people in many cases left short of food. Finding treatment for COVID-positive patients has also proven difficult, RFA sources say.
Chinese Social media is also taken by storm as Tibetans post videos criticizing quarantine facilities. They are complaining of a lack of provisions for sanitation and that medical staff often fail to wash their hands after conducting tests.
People have also posted their frustrations on the country’s social networking platforms of the failed transport system with posted photos and videos of infected people left standing for hours in the streets of Lhasa as authorities fail to transport them quickly to designated facilities.
China had earlier enforced a strict “zero COVID” policy in Shanghai as well with strict lockdown measures, breakdown of supply chains, and food shortages. The residents of China’s economic hub of Shanghai also vented online even as government censors tried to control the flood of critical comments pouring in. (ANI)
This report is filed by ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.