Goa on Sunday became the first zero COVID-19 State in the country with the last seven positive cases also turning negative.
Also read: Goa may see ease in restrictions if no cases in three days: Sawant
This makes Goa the first green State in the country with no case of coronavirus being reported from April 3. The coastal State had a total of seven positive cases, of whom six had travel history and one was the brother of a positive patient.
“Goa is now COVID-19-free, all seven patients have tested negative. They will be quarantined at government facility and later at home,” Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said. Goa has in all tested over 800 people of whom seven had come positive.
Dr. Sawant said that though Goa was the first Indian State to be free of any tested positive case and a happy moment for everyone, especially the frontline workers, it was important to realise that this was no time for relaxing.
The Chief Minister said that from April 20, the government would scrutinise reports of its three-day door-to-door citizens survey done last week and decide on testing people for COVID-19 wherever felt necessary.
Also read: 370 foreign tourists evacuated from Goa
“We have to ensure that we remain a zero COVID-19 State. The lockdown will continue till the Central government decides. Our borders with Maharashtra and Karnataka will continue to remain sealed. Anyone entering the State under special circumstances will have to stay in a government quarantine centre,” he said.
The Chief Minister said government offices would resume 100% work from Monday. “To ensure that we continue to remain a green zone State, social distancing will have to be maintained. State transport buses will ensure this while shifting government staff. Two-wheelers will have a single occupant and 1,000 thermal guns will be positioned at various places,” he said.
Dr. Sawant announced that subject to permissions from designated officers, industrial units and private businesses would be allowed to start functioning.
On the issue of seafarers, the Chief Minister said the Centre would be announcing the repatriation mechanism any time.
“Once the government makes the mechanism official, it will take about 3-4 days for the first lot of seafarers to return. Those already at Indian ports or closest to the coast will return first. For the rest, discussions are on whether it would be the sea route or air route that would be taken to get them back,” Dr. Sawant said.
All these seafarers would be subjected to government quarantine followed by home quarantine, the Chief Minister said. Goa has made available 8,000 rooms for Goan seafarers.
“The Centre is also considering a policy of getting back lakhs of Indians who are overseas, beginning with those employed on the ships first,” Dr. Sawant said.