The Weekend Leader - COVID-19: Goa faces fresh snag, virology lab malfunctions within 24 hrs

COVID-19: Goa faces fresh snag, virology lab malfunctions within 24 hrs



Amid ongoing shortage of food and medicinal supplies, Goa's battle against COVID-19 hit yet another snag after a newly set-up virology lab inaugurated on Monday, malfunctioned within 24 hours.

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant told reporters in Panaji on Tuesday, that houses of persons under home-quarantine would be marked with cautionary posters and also announced that Rs 120 crore from the permanent iron ore fund would be utilised for building a hospital dedicated to treatment of COVID-19.

"There is a technical issue with the lab. We are getting experts from other parts of Goa to resolve it," Sawant said. The lab was certified by the Indian Council for Medical Research on Monday and commissioned to start on the same day. Sawant also said that the 55 suspected COVID-19 samples which were to be tested by the now defunct lab are being sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune for examination.

The laboratory was set-up within a month, soon after the Goa government stepped up its efforts to rein in coronavirus.

Sawant also said that his government had taken a decision to stick cautionary posters to mark the abodes of people who were under home quarantine and said that being home quarantined was not stigma.

"People have to be aware. Other states have already taken that decision. There is no stigma because of home quarantine. It is for them (those who are quarantined), their family and the people of Goa," the Chief Minister said. Goa currently has five COVID-19 positive patients and more than 1,000 persons are under quarantine either at their respective homes or in government facilities.

"The health of the five patients is stable and improving," the Chief Minister said.

Sawant also said, that the Goa government was granting "parole wherever it is possible" to prisoners, who were eligible, so that they could go home instead of being incarcerated in a prison facility, in view of COVID-19 scare.

The Chief Minister also urged private medical practitioners and promoters of clinics and other privately-run health facilities, to start functioning and examining patients as well as keeping their OPDs running so that there is less stress on government health infrastructure. IANS

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