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State mulls setting up virology testing facility at GMC

NT NETWORK

Panaji

Health Minister Vishwajit Rane on Wednesday said that face or respiratory masks will be provided to all  government employees in the wake of  coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the country.

He expressed government’s intention to set up a virology testing facility at  the GMC so as to get around the need to send blood and throat swab samples to the Mumbai-based laboratory.

“The trajectory of coronavirus continues to spread worldwide, with many affected in our country. In view of this exponential rise, circulars on safety measures will be issued to every department. All departments are advised

to be proactive. For extra-precautions, masks will be provided to all the government employees and hospital staff. Every government department to make use of masks and sterillum,” Rane stated in a social media post.  

He said the people who enter and exit hospitals also need to take precautionary measures to prevent or reduce COVID-19 risk.

Stressing on  the use of sterillium  (hand sanitiser with 70 per cent  alcohol content), Rane said in the post  that schools and colleges will  be encouraged to  use the particular hand sanitiser.

“We request you to take all precautions necessary until we are free from the scourge of the virus,” he exhorted the people.

Later in the evening, in a voice note shared on WhatsApp Rane clarified that the government departments will have to mandatorily procure face masks and sterillum on their own.

“We have put up a file before the government to procure equipment on top priority so that we can have our own virology testing facility at  the GMC itself instead of sending the samples to the Mumbai-based laboratory,” he said.

Abiding by the Centre’s directives over coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the state government on Wednesday issued an order exempting its employees from marking biometric attendance in the offices till March 31, 2020.

After receiving a copy of an office memorandum issued on March 6 by the Union ministry of personnel, public grievances and pension, the general administration department issued the order exempting the employees from marking their attendance on the Aadhaar-based biometric attendance system.

The office memorandum issued by the central government stated that although only a small number of COVID-19 cases have been reported in the country, it is a must to take all possible preventive measures to stop the spread of the deadly virus.

It is learnt that most common method of transmission of virus seems to be through infected surfaces, and hence it is desirable to avoid touching surfaces which might have been infected due to human touch.

“In view of this, all ministers and departments are requested to exempt their employees to mark biometric attendance in the Aadhaar-based biometric attendance system till March 31, 2020. However, all the employees are requested to mark their attendance in the attendance register as done prior to the launch of biometric system during this period,” it stated.

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