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Cong urges govt to take steps to expedite community testing

Margao: The president of Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) Girish Chodankar, on Monday, has stated that as one per cent of the samples tested for COVID-19 was found positive in Goa (7 positive of 780 tested samples), “the state government needs to justify its claim of Goa before declaring the state as COVID19-free.”  

“As the main opposition party it is our duty to bring these facts to the notice of the government that testing is the only effective way to determine whether Goa is really in safe zone in the COVID-9 pandemic. We urge the government to take steps to expedite community testing and build up facilities to quarantine likely suspects who may emerge from community testing. Utmost precautions also  need to be taken to screen people arriving from our adjoining states of Karnataka and Maharashtra, where the virus situation is grim,” he has stated.

Chodankar has further said that government has  to prepare itself for post-lockdown situation by taking  into consideration a comprehensive testing of the population and phased restarting of businesses in the state.

“Government should not make unnecessary hurry. The data released  by the government on April 19  reveals that  826 samples were sent for testing out of which reports of 780 patients  were received by the government till date. 7 positive were cases detected in Goa and all the seven have completely recovered from COVID19. This data has brought out shocking information that government tested just 0.04 per cent of the total 16 lakh population of Goa from  March 2020 till April 19  2020 ,” he has said adding that  the government also claimed of covering 3.66 lakh houses in hardly 24 hours covering almost 16 lakh population of the state during the Community Survey undertaken by  engaging 7,000 government employees.

The government data also reveals that  1,794 persons are home quarantined, 202 are facility quarantined and around 162 are in hospital isolation at the GMC, which works out to 2,158 persons while testing of just 780 patients is done by the government in last 28 days, he has added. 

“The government needs to give explanation for the reasons of its failure to do testing of all 2,158 patients who are quarantined under suspicion of infection of Coronavirus,” Chodankar has mentioned further demanding from the Chief Minister  an action plan with regard to the medical care  to be provided to the 30,000 persons who are identified with flu-like symptoms and suffering from ILI (influenza like Illness) and SARI (severe acute respiratory infection) during the community survey.

“We want to draw CM›s attention to MHA report that has revealed that 15 lakh international passengers arrived in India between January 18 to  March 23 (this year).  The central government had shared the details of travellers with respective states with directives to have screening, strict surveillance and quarantine.  As per the MHA estimate at least 20,000 passengers might have arrived in Goa by direct flights from Middle East alone, keep aside passengers coming from other countries to Goa via Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi airports. The Chief Minister has to verify first if this protocol was followed before arriving at any decisions,” he has said. 

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