First coronavirus case diagnosed in the Tibet Autonomous Region

Hubei, China 24 January 2020. Credit: Reuters, Martin Pollard
Hubei, China 24 January 2020. Credit: Reuters, Martin Pollard
Hubei, China 24 January 2020. Credit: Reuters, Martin Pollard
4th February 2020

Coronavirus has reached the Tibet Autonomous Region.

The first case of coronavirus has been diagnosed in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) according to the Health Committee of the TAR, Chinese state media reported today.

The patient was tested by the TAR’s Regional Center for Disease Control and Prevention and a Chinese laboratory confirmed it to be coronavirus, Xinhua said.

“The patient is currently undergoing hospitalization at a designated medical institution with stable vital signs. Close contacts are being observed under medical isolation,” the report added.

142 new cases of the virus have also been found in the cultural eastern Tibetan region of Sichuan province, while other cases were diagnosed in Yunnan, Gansu and Qinghai, a second Chinese media report said.

Authorities in the Tibet Autonomous Region have temporarily closed all tourist sites including the Potala palace since Monday to help prevent the spread of the virus, Xinhua reported.

Some Buddhist monasteries have been closed to visitors, while public gatherings like the Choetrul Monlam (prayer/butter lamp festival) have been canceled as a preventive measure, Tibet Watch said.

Kundeling Monastery in Lhasa and Ladrang Monastery in Amdo are among the list of monasteries which have cancelled events or closed to visitors because of the virus, Tibet Watch reported. 

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