Closing borders, strict lockdown enforcement make Goa free from COVID-19

Panaji (Goa) [India], April 29 (ANI): Closing borders and strict enforcement of lockdown are one of the reasons, which helped Goa emerge as a coronavirus-free State in the country.

The State had closed its borders days before the announcement of nationwide lockdown. On March 21, month, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant-led government announced to shut down beaches, restaurants and many public places even when there was not a single coronavirus case in the State.

The State government also sealed the borders for the entry of all types of passenger vehicles coming through the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Speaking to ANI, Utkrisht Prasoon, Superintendent of Police, North Goa, said: "From March 21 night, we have been strictly enforcing lockdown on borders. Multiple departments are working on the border."

"We have deployed staff on non-motorable roads as well. Local people are working with us to stop people's movement. We have taken local people into confidence in our fight against the coronavirus," added Prasoon.

He said that multi-department teams are posted at Goa borders to ensure that there is no movement of people in and out of Goa, while at the same time we are ensuring the movement of essential goods is smooth.

"The Executive Magistrates keep track of people trying to cross borders. Health Department teams are screening drivers of lorries carrying essential goods. The Excise Department teams are cracking down on alcohol smuggling," said Prasoon.

"We are ensuring that there is a good interdepartmental system at the border like at the Keri border which Goa shares with Karnataka and a lot of fruits are brought in," he added.

Prasoon also credited the enforcement of social distancing norms at open places for Goa becoming COVID-19 free and said the focus of his department was on ensuring wearing of masks by the people at public spaces.

Prasoon along with DIG Parmaditya visited check-points of Goa-Karnataka border and briefed staff regarding duties and safety precautions.

There were seven COVID-19 positive cases in Goa and all have been cured now, making the State COVID-19 free.

Goa's bordering state Maharashtra has the highest number of COVID-19 positive cases in the country. Karnataka, which also shares its border with Goa, has over 500 COVID-19 cases. (ANI)