Averting local transmission of COVID is challenge at hand: govt

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Panaji: Raising concerns over the possibility of a further rise in COVID-19 cases in the state, health secretary Nila Mohanan on Wednesday said that preventing local transmission of the dreaded virus is the next challenge before the government.

“The next challenge is not community transmission; the next challenge is local transmission. There are three levels. The first  one is what we are currently at – the  ‘imported’ cases that  can be traced  to a place outside Goa. The next level is of local transmission  when the COVID positive people transmit the virus  to others in a locality;  this happens only if you don’t detect them early, and you know that COVID infection is not symptomatic… When a person carrying the virus without even realising that he or she  has got the virus   interacts with the family, and  that’s when you have local transmission,”  Mohanan explained  at a press conference in Panaji.

She said that community transmission comes at the third level when cases surface in a community, where people pick up the virus even without having a direct link to a COVID positive person.

“We are making every endeavour to prevent local transmission of the virus.  If we continue with the protocol to monitor visitors and detect them at source then we can say that we are  doing enough to take care of local transmission,” she elaborated.

The health secretary said that Goa is the only state in the country where every individual entering the state is tested for COVID-19 irrespective of the mode of transport. 

“We are prepared to manage all people coming in the state. The only thing is that it is a challenge to keep our technicians round the clock on shifts; it is a challenge for the district administration to co-ordinate the movement of people. But definitely it is a challenge that we are more prepared to meet,” Mohanan said.