Goa COVID-19 free, says CM, but opposition says it is too early to declare State safe

Published : April 22, 2020 00:00 IST

Paramilitary forces patrolling a street in Goa on March 29. Photo: AFP

GOA Chief Minister Pramod Sawant announced on April 19 that all seven COVID-19 positive cases in the State had been discharged and that the State was now “COVID free”. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s (MoHFW) coronavirus tracker confirmed that there were no deaths in the State as of April 21 and that all quarantined people were out of danger. Opposition party members and even some Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Ministers, however, said it was too soon to declare the State a safe or green zone.

Goa Congress and Goa Forward leaders alleged that the testing in the State fell under the rapid testing procedure, which is not entirely accurate. Also, once the government lifts the lockdown and opens the borders the situation could change drastically since Goa has borders Maharashtra and Karnataka. Maharashtra has the highest number of positive cases and deaths.

Some 200 Goan seafarers have been given clearance to disembark from three ships. Every precaution is being taken to ensure the men are quarantined before they return to their families, Sawant said. 

Goa Forward leader Vijay Sardesai said: “The government can declare Goa COVID-free only when they have done enough testing as per the scientific standards mandated and acceptable to experts.”

Goa Congress president Girish Chodankar said the State government had not conducted the tests properly and rushed into declaring the State COVID-19 free without proper data. “The CM is boasting of covering 5 lakh houses in just 3 days with 7,000 surveyors. That is not physically possible,” he said. 

Sawant initially issued tough instructions such as closing all stores including grocery shops and not allowing a single truck to enter the State. These directives threw the State into chaos and created a massive food crisis, which normalised only after two weeks.

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

The COVID-19-induced lockdown and the absolute necessity for human beings to maintain a physical distance from one another in order to contain the pandemic has changed our lives in unimaginable ways. The print medium all over the world is no exception.

As the distribution of printed copies is unlikely to resume any time soon, Frontline will come to you only through the digital platform until the return of normality. The resources needed to keep up the good work that Frontline has been doing for the past 35 years and more are immense. It is a long journey indeed. Readers who have been part of this journey are our source of strength.

Subscribing to the online edition, I am confident, will make it mutually beneficial.

Sincerely,

R. Vijaya Sankar

Editor, Frontline

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor