The Goa government plans to expand the scope of COVID-19 testing in the state by designating special teams at the primary health centres and community health centres to collect samples of suspected coronavirus patients, health minister Vishwajit Rane has said.
Currently, samples for COVID-19 testing are collected only at the district hospitals in Margao (South Goa) and Mapusa (North Goa), and the sub-district hospital in Ponda (North Goa).
Goa reported 77 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, taking the total count to 1,761. There have been seven deaths so far due to the disease in the coastal state.
"After deliberations with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, we have taken a decision to recruit new teams on a contractual basis to designate them at the primary health centres (PHCs) and community health centres (CHCs), and they will report to the respective health officers," Rane said.
They will be dedicatedly working to collect samples and co-ordinate with the testing centres, the minister said in a statement issued on Sunday evening.
"Our aim is to move forward in a very progressive manner with teams attached to every PHC and CHC, along with an increased scope of testing, as suggested by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)," Rane said.
"This way, the existing staff of the PHCs and CHCs will be used only for regular activities, as it is the need of the hour," he said.
The state government will also streamline the supply of food at COVID care centres and it would be monitored by the health secretary from time to time, he added.