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Tibet reports new cases in latest outbreak

By Daqiong and Palden Nyima in Lhasa | | Updated: 2022-08-16 20:50
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People line up to receive a COVID-19 test at the gate of the Lhasa Maternal and Child Health Hospital in Lhasa, Tibet autonomous region. [Photo by Daqiong/For]

The Tibet autonomous region reported eight locally confirmed COVID-19 cases and 264 asymptomatic carriers from 0 to 2 pm on Tuesday, health authorities said at a news briefing in the regional capital of Lhasa on Tuesday.

As of 2 pm Tuesday, the region has reported a total of 186 confirmed and 1,983 asymptomatic cases.

Tenzin Lhundrub, deputy secretary of the regional people's government and press spokesman of the regional government, said the current COVID-19 outbreak occurred during the region's peak tourism season, causing a large number of tourists to be stranded and leading to possible spillover of the epidemic to other areas.

"Tibet has learned from the experiences of other provinces and cities, came out with regulations on helping stranded tourists leave the region, and the exit process was strictly managed," he said. "In accordance with the region's latest pandemic prevention and control requirements, tourists who are close contacts and secondary contacts, and have been to high-risk and medium-risk areas are unable to leave the region for now."

People with whereabouts in low-risk areas within the last seven days are allowed to leave, only required to show negative results from two nucleic acid tests over the past three days, and an additional antigen test at airports, train stations or land checkpoints, he said.

The information of any tourists leaving the region will be reported to the pandemic prevention and control institutes of their destinations, he added.

For tourists meeting the requirements, vehicles have been arranged to transport them to airports or train stations, and providing nucleic acid testing and catering services for self-driving tourists.

"We are improving services for stranded tourists, including providing epidemic prevention materials and life necessities for free, and the government is paying for the accommodation costs of tourists stranded in places under static management."

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