Other States

20 co-passengers of patient traced, quarantined in Goa

Lunch line: Labourers wait for free meals provided by a gurdwara at Betim on Monday.

Lunch line: Labourers wait for free meals provided by a gurdwara at Betim on Monday.   | Photo Credit: Atish Pomburfekar

Remaining 20-odd have returned to Mumbai, says Sawant

The Goa government on Monday said it has quarantined 20 air passengers identified through contact tracing of a COVID-19 patient from the State, who flew on a Vistara flight from Mumbai to Goa on March 22.

Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant said around 40 people arrived in Goa by Vistara flight UK-861 from Mumbai that day. “As per our information, only 20 of the 40-odd passengers of the flight are in Goa. The rest have returned to Mumbai,” he said.

The COVID-19 patient had travelled from the Bahamas to Goa via New York and Mumbai.

On Monday, the integrated disease surveillance programme of the Department of Health Services, Goa, issued a public appeal to passengers of the flight to contact the helpline or the nearest health centre.

Officials said while the flight manifest is available, the process of verifying the passengers’ location and other details is time consuming and challenging, since some register landline numbers or that of their ticket booking agent or site.

The Chief Minister told reporters that ₹52 crore from the district mineral fund, available to States that have a mining industry, will be used for the dedicated COVID-19 hospital and other measures to tackle the outbreak. The government has designated ESI Hospital in South Goa district headquarters Margao as a COVID-19 hospital.

Dr. Sawant admitted that Goa is facing shortage of medicines and said he had directed the Food and Drug Administration director to hold talks with all stakeholders.

The Chief Minister said there is no shortage of vegetables and fruits in the State, with the Goa Horticulture Corporation, through its 1,200 counters, distributing 268 tonnes of vegetables procured from Belagavi in Karnataka on Monday.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), however, said ruling BJP MLAs and ministers were using the supplies as a self-promotion exercise. “Giving control to MLAs in Goa over distribution of groceries is not mitigating, but leading to a bigger disaster. Stores have run dry while ruling party MLAs are controlling its distribution,” AAP leader Elvis Gomes said.

Mr. Gomes tweeted a poster showing how Panaji BJP MLA Babush Monserrate was offering home delivery of supplies like rice, dal, sugar, oil, vegetables and other essentials for a ₹800 package. Leaflets announcing this had the MLA’s photographs on them. Such packages are, however, not available to the needy from other constituencies, and residents of areas like St. Cruz and old Goa, outside Panaji city limits, he said.

Dr. Sawant said MLAs have been given the task so as to keep the number of volunteers involved under check. “I also visited a shelter camp set up by the government for the needy and stranded labourers from outside Goa. We will ensure that people in distress are taken care of in this hour of crisis,” he said.

Meanwhile, around 1,600 foreigners stranded in Goa will be flown to their respective countries in special relief flights.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 11:04:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/20-co-passengers-of-patient-traced-quarantined-in-goa/article31212839.ece

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