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State COVID fund receives around Rs 9 crore

Panaji: The state government has received around Rs 9 crore under the COVID state fund that is being utilised for containing, controlling and managing the COVID-19 pandemic in Goa.

Revenue secretary Sanjay Kumar told a press conference in Panaji on Friday that about Rs 9 crore has been received under the COVID fund, and  around Rs 4 crore has been expended for fighting the pandemic.

He said that Rs 4 crore has been mainly spent on KTC buses which were hired for ferrying people, relief material and the rations to labourers.

Kumar said that as on date a total of 43,794 people have left Goa while 4,075 have entered the state during the lockdown.

“Today a flight from South Africa carrying 57 passengers  landed in Mumbai, and they are being brought to Goa by buses,” he said, adding that these 57 people also include 12 scientists who are returning from an Antarctica scientific mission. 

He said that special trains  have brought 777 passengers into the state, and at the same time  1,893 people  from Goa departed to their home states in special trains.   

“Around 4,884 people left Goa by  trains on Friday for Uttar Pradesh, and the same number of people will leave in another three trains later tonight,” Kumar said.

The revenue secretary said that 627 lockdown violations were reported in the state on Friday, which include 538 challans that were issued to the people who were found not wearing face covers in public places. The  remaining 86  cases were booked for spitting in public places.

He said that since the lockdown was imposed in the state a total of 771 FIRs have been registered and 1,404 people were arrested for different violations. Some 486 vehicles were also seized by the police across the state.

Kumar claimed that 50 per cent passenger occupancy is being maintained in KTC buses and all buses are being  sanitised regularly to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Health secretary Nila Mohanan said that after the temporary  suspension of the permission granted to the Porvorim-based SRL Diagnostics for collecting throat swab samples for COVID testing, a couple of laboratories have approached the government.

Their applications are being examined. If they fulfil the prescribed  criteria then the government may grant them permission for taking  throat swab samples.

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