High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a blogpost by Woeser, originally written for the Mandarin service of Radio Free Asia on February 7, 2020 and also published on her blog on February 8, 2020.
In this blogpost, Woeser outlines the cases of Coronavirus in Tibet as of February 6, 2020, with Kardze Prefecture in Kham being the hardest hit. Since this post was published however, the number of cases in Kardze Prefecture has risen from 17 to 57. According to the People’s Daily, the only infected patient in Lhasa was discharged from hospital on February 12, 2020.
To read about and see Tibetan online responses to the virus, see our earlier post.
“Attention! The new Coronavirus in the Tibetan regions, including Kardze Prefecture!”
As of February 6, official reports on infections with the new Coronavirus roughly show the following picture: Tibet Autonomous Prefecture: 1 case; Sichuan Province: Kardze Prefecture 17 cases, Ngaba Prefecture 1 case; Gansu Province, Kanlho Prefecture: 3 cases (one suspected); Qinghai Province, Tsojang Prefecture: 3 cases. Common characteristics: The source of infections in the Tibet Autonomous Region and Sichuan Province come from six infected people who entered the Tibetan regions on January 20, 21 and 22 by train and bus from Wuhan and are now being treated in hospitals in different areas. Xinhua reported on February 1 in an article titled “Lhasa: One Hospital, One Patient,” that in the Third People’s Hospital of the Tibet Autonomous Prefecture, 151 medical personnel were taking care of a person named Zhang who had entered Lhasa from the Wuchang district of Wuhan on January 22.
As of now, apart from Lhasa, there are no other confirmed or suspected cases in other areas of the Tibet Autonomous Region, the four Tibetan autonomous prefectures of Qinghai Province (Yushu, Golog, Malho, Tsolho), Tsonub Mongol and Tibetan autonomous prefecture and Dechen Tibetan autonomous prefecture of Yunnan Province. But in Dechen, there are nine people currently under quarantine because they had contact with infected travellers from Wuhan.
The actual situation, however, looks more like this: in the entire Tibetan region, there is a severe shortage of medical resources and conditions for treatment are very bad; the current epidemic is making an already adverse situation worse, indeed, it is looking very grim. Over the last few days, the Kardze Prefecture People’s Hospital that is treating many infected cases issued a call online, stating that “the hospital has currently only 13 protective suits and only 60 N95 facial masks, we urgently need donations from society.”
Also, Kardze has already become one of the more severely affected places! Tawu county of Kardze prefecture may well be the most severely affected county in the entire country! As of February 6, a total of 17 cases have been reported, including five infected people who had entered Kardze from Wuhan and 12 contaminated Tibetans, all from Tawu. According to reports, in Tawu a total of 217 people have been placed under medical surveillance! On February 4, the Tawu People’s Hospital issued the call for “societal donations,” urgently needing protective suits, masks and other protective equipment.
Below, we find the report on the diagnosed cases in Kardze Prefecture as publicised on the official Kardze WeChat account:
Case 1: Female, 25 years old, left Wuhan on January 20, was quarantined on January 23 in Bomda Township), Serthar County and later transferred to a hospital.
Case 2: Male, 33 years old, arrived from Wuhan, was quarantined on January 23 in Sumdu Township, Dappu county and later transferred to a hospital.
Case 3: Male, 51 years old, Tibetan. Went to see a doctor because of a fever on January 24 and was quarantined. (His birthplace and profession were not included in the report. But there are rumours about a monk from Tawu being infected, perhaps it is him).
Case 4: Female, 49 years old, left Wuhan on January 21, was checked at a motorway check-point on the way to Dartsedo and quarantined, she showed symptoms on January 27.
Case 5: Male, 49 years old, left Wuhan on January 21, was checked at a motorway check-point on the way to Dartsedo and quarantined and later transferred to hospital.
Case 6: Male, 51 years old, Tibetan from Tawu. He returned to Tawu on December 28 from Chengdu; on February 1 he showed symptoms and went to hospital and was diagnosed with the new coronavirus.
Case 7: Male, 51 years old, Tibetan from Tawu. He showed symptoms on January 25 and was hospitalised and diagnosed with the new coronavirus on February 1.
Case 8: Male, 36 years old, Tibetan from Tawu. He returned to Tawu on January 15 from Chamdo, Nyingchi prefecture and was diagnosed on February 1.
Case 9: Male, 49 years old, Tibetan from Tawu. Returned to Tawu on January 17 from Chengdu, had symptoms on January 25 and was diagnosed on February 2 through close contact with infected people.
Case 10: Female, 28 years old, from Wuhan, Hubei. She left Wuhan on January 20, was examined at a road checkpoint in Bomda Township, Serthar County on January 23 and had symptoms on February 2.
Case 11: Male, 66 years old, Tibetan from Tawu. He had close contact with infected people and was hospitalised on February 1.
Case 12: Male, 48 years old, Tibetan from Tawu. He had close contact with infected people and was hospitalised on February 1.
Case 13: Male, 13 years old, Tibetan boy from Tawu. He had close contact with infected people and was hospitalised on February 3.
Case 14: Female, 55 years old, Tibetan from Tawu. She had close contact with infected people and was hospitalised on February 4.
Case 15: Male, 13 years old, Tibetan boy from Tawu. He had close contact with infected people and was hospitalised on February 4.
Case 16: Male, 56 years old, Tibetan from Tawu. Showed symptoms on February 2 and was subsequently admitted to hospital.
Case 17: Male, 50 years old, Tibetan from Tawu. Travelled from Tawu to Ya’an on February 2 and returned on the same day. He showed symptoms on February 4 and was subsequently quarantined and hospitalised.
According to the Kardze WeChat account: “As of February 6, a total of 17 people have been diagnosed with the new coronavirus (12 in Tawu, 2 in Dartsedo, 2 in Serthar and 1 in Dappa), 1 without symptoms, 2 acute cases, 1 critical case and all other in stable conditions; they are being treated in different hospitals. They include 13 male, 4 female, the oldest being 66 and the youngest 13 years old. Out of the diagnosed cases, 5 came from Wuhan, one from Ya’an, 2 from Chengdu, 1 from Tibet and 8 are local residents of Tawu; a total of 217 people are currently under medical surveillance.”
Apart from that, of the 3 diagnosed and one suspected cases in Kanlho Prefecture, a female, 45 years old, from Chone County, Kanlho Prefecture, resident of Hezuo county level city, probably Tibetan, was the first confirmed case through contact with other infected persons.