Huge surge in COVID cases in Goa,Health Minister hints at lockdown

PANAJI: Goa’s coronavirus caseload went up by 2,321 and reached 79,798 on Monday, while the day also saw 38 deaths and 712 people getting discharged, an official said.

The state’s toll stands at 1,055 and the recovery count is 63,483, leaving it with an active caseload of 15,260, he said.

With 6,772 samples being examined, the number of tests in Goa went up to 6,26,583, the official said.

Goa’s COVID-19 figures are as follows: Positive cases 79,798, new cases 2,321, death toll 1055, discharged 63,483, active cases 15,260, samples tested till date 6,26,583.

Painting a grim picture, Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane on Monday said the state may see 200 to 300 COVID-19-related deaths per day in the next 10 days, and suggested a month-long lockdown to control the pandemic.

However, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said no decision has been taken yet on imposing a lockdown in the state, where a night curfew and some other curbs are in place.

Speaking to reporters after chairing a meeting held to review the COVID-19 situation in Goa, Sawant said the second wave is “very dangerous”, but the state government has created necessary medical infrastructure to treat patients.

“No one should stay at home after experiencing COVID- 19 symptoms and must get admitted to hospital. We have created necessary infrastructure andincreased the number of beds,” the CM said.

“As of now, we have not taken any decision on lockdown, but we will take strict action against violation of COVID-19 protocols at weddings and other events,” Sawant said.

Earlier, Rane said he would be holding an emergency meeting with Sawant over the coronavirus situation in Goa.

“In my interactions with experts, I have been told that we might lose 200 to 300 lives per day in next 10 days. The situation is really grim, Rane said in a series of tweets. We are doing our best to save precious lives. I am confident that Honble CM will take our request (for a lockdown) into consideration on top priority,” he said.

The tiny coastal state has been reporting around 2,000 COVID-19 cases daily in the last three days, and on Monday 38 patients succumbed to the infection.

Rane said economic activities are important, but taking stricter measures to save lives are equally vital.

“Perhaps a lockdown may help break the (virus transmission) chain. We need strict measures and SOPs along with a lockdown for 30 days,” the Health Minister said.

Rane said Imposing a lockdown is extremely crucial at this point if we wish to break the chain.

Ill be holding a meeting with the Chief Secretary and with his guidance we will come up with an appropriate solution that will be in the best interest of the people of Goa.

He referred to the death of a 31-year-old COVID-19 patient (the youngest in Goa so far) and said this was due to late hospitalisation.

Goa is under a night curfew (from 10 pm to 6 am) till April 30 and the government has also imposed curbs on restaurants, cinema halls and casinos in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases.