Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, has been in lockdown for more than a month, making life very hard for the people there. However, the pandemic has not stopped. A resident said the government put people under centralized isolation in a large area. The isolated environment was in poor conditions, and people got cross infected, which caused chaos.

On Sunday, September 18, the government said that 45 new positive cases had been found in Tibet, 33 of which were in Lhasa. Since China is used to conceal the true extent of the pandemic, the real number of infected people could be higher.

Upsurge in COVID cases

People who live nearby said that the police used buses to move people out of the area in the middle of the night. Now that the shelters in Lhasa are complete, the authorities have taken them to the counties of Mozhugongka and Qushui to isolate them. 

The conditions at the isolation sites are bad. They are held without proper medical care or sanitation. And they are held regardless of whether or not they have COVID. A mix of positive and negative cases has indeed helped the pandemic spread.

Radio Free Asia cited sources saying that three Tibetans died of COVID at home because the Chinese government didn’t get them medical help in time.

People used to come to Lhasa to climb the mountain as part of a pilgrimage, and many people still like to camp with tents on the mountain. Due to the spread of COVID in Lhasa, many were told they couldn’t camp. According to one video, the officials were suspected of setting up a tent in the snow on a 4,800-meter-high mountain in Shigatse to set up an isolation site. 

People got scared because the government force them to stay in quarantine. Mr. Fang, a resident of Lhasa, told Chinese language media Xin Tang Ren that the lockdown has a huge impact on everyone.

Mr. Liu, who lives in Lhasa, said that the silent management has been lifted in some parts of the city, but people still can’t go out.

Mr. Liu said, “I’ll explain what’s happening. There is no way to stop the pandemic in Lhasa right now. Even though, according to the government, some parts of the urban area of Lhasa are no longer under silent management. The truth is, though, that you can’t go outside.”

Mr. Liu said that after the outbreak in Lhasa, there aren’t many supplies in the area.

According to China Daily, Dradul, the executive deputy mayor of Lhasa, Tibet, apologized to the public for the city not doing enough to stop COVID and keep it under control.

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