Goa authorities concerned about local transmission of COVID-19

Panaji, Jun 5 (PTI) With seven frontline workers from the health department testing positive for COVID-19 in Goa, there is a fear that the viral infection might travel to the interiors of the state.

State Health authorities had confirmed on Thursday that seven personnel from an urban health centre posted at Mangor Hill in Vasco had contracted the deadly infection.

Mangor Hill was declared a COVID-19 containment zone after over 40 cases were detected in the area since early this week.

While one of the infected workers was a resident of Margao, another was from Sanguem village in South Goa, a senior health official said.

All infected health workers have been shifted to ESI Hospital in Margao, which is the state's designated COVID-19 treatment facility, he said.

Till date, the infection was only detected in persons who had travelled to Goa from other states, but it is now spreading among locals as well, the official said.

'The staff of Urban Health Centre getting infected is a cause for concern. All seven of them had travelled to their native places before being tested,' the official said.

State authorities have initiated the process of contact tracing to check the viral spread in rural areas as well.

'A person from Sanguem, who is working at the health centre, has tested positive and is undergoing treatment. We have asked people to take all necessary precautions,' Sanguem MLA Prasad Gaonkar said.

Margao MLA and Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat, in a message released on Thursday evening, has appealed people not to panic.

'I appeal to Madgaonkars (people from Margao) not to panic. Please maintain social distancing and hygiene, wear mask and cooperate with the authorities. Let us together work to defeat coronavirus,' Kamat said.

As on Thursday, Goa has recorded 166 cases of COVID- 19, of which 109 patients are undergoing treatment, while 57 have recovered from the infection. PTI RPS ARU ARU