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India’s First Coronavirus Free State Goa Refuses To Be Declared ‘Green Zone’, Focusses On Intensifying Testing

On April 19, all seven COVID-19 positive patients in Goa recovered making the state first Indian state to be free of the novel coronavirus

India’s First Coronavirus Free State Goa Refuses To Be Declared ‘Green Zone’, Focusses On Intensifying Testing
Highlights
  • Goa had seven COVID-19 positive cases, all have recovered now
  • Too early to tag our state as a "green zone”: Goa Health Minister
  • Goa health department is focussing on intensifying COVID-19 testing

New Delhi: “Zero indeed has great value! Immensely happy to announce that all the COVID-19 positive cases in the state are now negative. Very grateful to our doctors and frontline workers who worked tirelessly and risked their lives to save others”, said Vishwajit Rane, Health Minister of Goa while sharing the news on Twitter. On April 19, Goa became the first coronavirus free state; all seven positive cases of COVID-19 in the state recovered and the number of active cases in Goa now stands at zero.

Also Read: Goa Government To Conduct Door To Door Survey To Identify Possible COVID-19 Patients

In an exclusive interview with NDTV, Mr Rane shared Goa’s success story and the future plan of action to ensure no lives are lost due to the novel coronavirus. Talking about how Goa as a state managed to win the battle against COVID-19, Mr Rane said,

We were one of the few states to go in for an early lockdown and it was a very big challenge because we had to convince people that what we are doing is right at that point of time. In the beginning itself, we took certain preventive steps like capacity building, and the most important thing is we followed a very strict lockdown measure. Initially, there were some problems but subsequently, we suspended OPDs; social distancing was not clearly specified but we tried to do in our own little way. Also, bringing in lockdown is very easy but providing healthcare to the people during a lockdown, an interface between doctors and patients was a great challenge. Along with this, strictly followed all the government guidelines provided from time to time. We had total support of the Goan community which helped us in a very big way.

Also Read: Nutrition And COVID-19: Drink Ample Water, Eat Unprocessed Food, Advises WHO To Lower Risks Of Infections

Goa as a state has unique challenges – it is one of the main tourist destinations, has a significant number of international travellers and shares borders with Maharashtra and Karnataka. Together these issues put a burden on Goa’s healthcare system and state’s testing and tracing protocol. Explaining how Goa battled the challenges, Mr Rane said,

We were tracing; we had a list of people who had come in, when they had come in and from where they had come. In Goa, a lot of times we have foreigners who come and stay for a month or two. My biggest worry was of seafarers, people who have been working on Ships out of Spain, Italy and other places and these people tested positive for COVID-19. For tourists and foreigners, we did random testing and luckily most of the cases were negative. We tracked the people and concentrated on ensuring that more number of people are kept under home quarantine for a period of 14 days.

Also Read: Centre Tags 170 Districts As ‘Coronavirus Hotspots’, Here’s All You Need To Know

Though the state is now free of COVID-19 and can be titled as ‘green zone’ as classified by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfares, Mr Rane believe it’s too early to take the tag. In fact, he believes in intensifying testing and testing protocol. Elaborating on the same, Mr Rane said,

When a state says ‘zero cases’ it doesn’t mean it’s in a safe zone. What we need to do is increase the testing facilities, increase the number of people that you bring in under testing spectrum and only then we will be able to identify, locate and then see exactly what the position in Goa is. I believe the challenge starts now because we have to ramp up our testing facilities. We are already doing about 500-1000 tests a day. With the industries starting, it becomes very important that we increase the spectrum of testing not only for the migrant labourers but also for the people in the industry.

Confirming that Goa will be testing aggressively in the coming days, on social media, Mr Rane announced the setting up of smart kiosks at various locations including borders, and airport. In a tweet, Mr Rane said, “While we have good news of zero COVID-19 cases in Goa, it is too early to tag our state as a “green zone”. It’s time to intensify the testing facilities, we are now drawing up protocols for random testing – testing of migratory workers, industrial workers, etc.”

Also Read: To Fight Coronavirus Pandemic, This Company Has Developed A Contactless Mobile Van That Will Provide Doorstep Testing For COVID-19

A smart kiosk will be installed at all state borders for stringent testing. A kiosk will have sample collection facility, thermal guns, and other protective equipment to ensure safe collection of samples. Along with this, the kiosk will be disinfected regularly.

According to the latest information available on Goa’s Directorate of Health Services’ official website, since January 29, 2020, while 1,794 individuals have been put under home quarantine, 202 contacts were under facility quarantine and 162 coronavirus suspects were put under isolation at Goa Medical College.

Also Read: How Long Will The World Have To Wait For A Vaccine Against COVID-19? Experts Answer

World

24,00,62,413Cases
20,17,73,183Active
3,33,99,961Recovered
48,89,269Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 24,00,62,413 and 48,89,269 have died; 20,17,73,183 are active cases and 3,33,99,961 have recovered as on October 16, 2021 at 4:08 am.

India

3,40,53,573 15,981Cases
2,01,6322,046Active
3,33,99,961 17,861Recovered
4,51,980 166Deaths
In India, there are 3,40,53,573 confirmed cases including 4,51,980 deaths. The number of active cases is 2,01,632 and 3,33,99,961 have recovered as on October 16, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,88,429 2,149

33,379 222

64,15,316 1,898

1,39,734 29

Kerala

48,38,811 8,867

95,349 1,072

47,16,728 9,872

26,734 67

Karnataka

29,82,869 470

9,700 93

29,35,238 368

37,931 9

Tamil Nadu

26,84,641 1,245

15,238 213

26,33,534 1,442

35,869 16

Andhra Pradesh

20,59,708 586

6,453 135

20,38,960 712

14,295 9

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,014 6

133 2

16,86,984 8

22,897

West Bengal

15,79,463 451

7,513 63

15,52,997 506

18,953 8

Delhi

14,39,337 26

327 10

14,13,921 36

25,089

Odisha

10,34,276 467

4,817 73

10,21,180 535

8,279 5

Chhattisgarh

10,05,624 10

197 6

9,91,857 16

13,570

Rajasthan

9,54,383 1

40 2

9,45,389 3

8,954

Gujarat

8,26,258 14

212 3

8,15,960 17

10,086

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,675 6

106 5

7,82,046 11

10,523

Haryana

7,71,049 14

116 11

7,60,884 3

10,049

Bihar

7,26,021 5

46 4

7,16,314 1

9,661

Telangana

6,68,722 104

4,056 115

6,60,730 218

3,936 1

Assam

6,05,944 97

3,458 188

5,96,547 284

5,939 1

Punjab

6,01,992 21

228 6

5,85,224 25

16,540 2

Jharkhand

3,48,415 9

130 0

3,43,150 9

5,135

Uttarakhand

3,43,739 10

179 4

3,36,163 6

7,397

Jammu And Kashmir

3,30,885 51

895 40

3,25,564 91

4,426

Himachal Pradesh

2,21,203 90

1,361 26

2,16,125 114

3,717 2

Goa

1,77,410 54

648 31

1,73,423 81

3,339 4

Puducherry

1,27,296 37

611 36

1,24,836 73

1,849

Manipur

1,22,545 113

1,444 0

1,19,208 109

1,893 4

Mizoram

1,11,651 932

13,316 285

97,955 1,211

380 6

Tripura

84,299 4

102 8

83,381 12

816

Meghalaya

82,815 81

893 1

80,490 79

1,432 1

Chandigarh

65,297 2

30 2

64,447 4

820

Arunachal Pradesh

54,964 6

183 19

54,501 25

280

Sikkim

31,739 17

189 35

31,159 51

391 1

Nagaland

31,547 31

228 2

30,645 32

674 1

Ladakh

20,871 4

42 2

20,621 6

208

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,675

3 0

10,668

4

Lakshadweep

10,365

1 1

10,313 1

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,641 1

9 1

7,503 2

129

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