The Kysyl SM-News website announced on Tuesday that the Eighth Kamby Lama, Jampel Lodoy, the most senior Buddhist monastic in the Tuva Republic, has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and is currently in a medically induced coma.
Jampel Lodoy, who was elected as the supreme lama of the Russian republic for a second term on 29 November 2019, is reported to be receiving treatment at the Republican Infectious Diseases Hospital in the Tuvan capital Kyzyl.
According to information received from his relatives, the Kamby Lama had strictly adhered to a regime of self-isolation, limiting as much as possible interactions with his circle of contacts, before traveling alone to the hospital as his condition worsened. Doctors at the hospital decided to put Jampel Lodoy into an induced coma in order to stabilize his condition. The supreme lama of Tuva is known to have several other medical conditions.
On 9 June, the Administration of the Kamby Lama appealed to Russian Buddhists to participate in online prayers dedicated to the good health of the Kamby Lama and for the speedy recovery of all people infected with novel coronavirus.
Jampel Lodoy (Apysh-ool Sat) was born to a family of livestock farmers on 21 August 1975 in the village of Hondergey in Dzun-Khemchiksky District of the autonomous republic in the Russian Federation. In 1992, he began his Buddhist education at Gandan Puntsogling, a monastery in Kyzyl—the same year that His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited Tuva. From 1993–96 he studied at Gunzechoinei Datsan in St. Petersburg, and subsequently continued his training at Drepung Gomang Monastery in the southwestern Indian state of Karnataka. While in India, Jampel Lodoy completed a nine-year course of study and received the title candidate of philosophical sciences. He then returned to Tuva and served as kamby lama from 2005–10. During this period, the Tuvan lama began actively working to establish ties with the spiritual leaders of the Buddhist sanghas in the republics of Kalmykia and Buryatia, and also initiated the construction of new large monastic complexes in cooperation with the local republican and federal authorities.
Jampel Lodoy later became the abbot of Ustuu-Khuree, a temple in the town of Chadan. Ustuu-Khuree was built in 1905 in the Tibetan architectural style, but was shut down in 1930, and in 1937 the structure was largely destroyed. In 1999, the Russian government, recognizing its historical and architectural value, decided to reconstruct the temple. During the same year, the Ustuu-Khuree Ethno Music Festival was initiated within the objective of reconstructing the ruined monument. The festival has since become a major cultural event in Tuva.
At the time of writing on 10 June, global confirmed COVID-19 infections were reported to have reached 7.24 million, with 411,292 deaths so far recorded and 3.37 million recovered.* The World Health Organization in March estimated the mortality rate from the virus, believed to have originated in Wuhan, China, at 3–4 per cent, based on incomplete and preliminary data, with the elderly and people with underlying health conditions considered most at risk. More recent data suggests that the mortality rate may be significantly lower, however studies are inconclusive due to variations in COVID-19 testing procedures in different countries, and differing methodologies for classifying and reporting COVID-19 as a cause of death.
Russia has so far reported 484,630 confirmed cases and 6,134 deaths, with 241,917 people reported to have recovered. Tuva, which has a population of 327,383 people,** has recorded 1,835 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and two deaths.*
** Data as of 1 January 2020, according to Сайт о странах и городах (statdata.ru)
Давай, лама, давай: в Туве помолились за здоровье Верховного ламы (Kysyl SM-News)
В Туве помолились за здравие Верховного ламы, заболевшего COVID-19 и находящегося в коме
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