Starting Thursday, those entering Goa will have the option of skipping the COVID-19 test, provided no symptoms were found in them during the screening at the entry points, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Wednesday.
However, those who choose not to undergo the test will have to remain home-quarantined for 14 days, he said. Sawant said the government has brought a change in the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to execute this new plan considering the strain on the testing facilities in Goa in view of the rising number of people arriving in the state.
“As per the change in the SOP, people will be allowed to enter the state without having to undergo the COVID-19 test. Those not found carrying any COVID-19 symptoms will have this option. It will come into effect from June 11. However, it is mandatory for those who choose to skip this test to observe 14-day home quarantine along with the family members,” he said.
“Those who decide to undergo COVID-19 test on their arrival in Goa will have to remain under institutional quarantine till their test results are declared,” the CM said. People can carry the medical certificate of being COVID-19 negative from any ICMR-affiliated laboratory, which should be issued less than 48 hours before their arrival, Sawant said.
“Everyone entering the state will have to go through thermal scanner check, and if found symptomatic, that person will be taken to a quarantine facility, where test would be conducted,” he said. “The change in SOP has been brought as the testing facilities are getting stressed due to increasing number of people arriving in the state,” he said.
On the status of the COVID-19 patients in Goa, the chief minister said that so far, 359 positive cases were found in the state, of which 67 have recovered. “We have 292 cases, which are active, of which only 21 are symptomatic. None of the patients had to be put on ventilator,” he added.
Sawant said that except for three patients, all others are natives of Goa. “Of the total cases, 194 were from Vasco’s Mangor Hill area, which has been declared as a containment zone,” he added.
The chief minister said that eleven health workers who were working to curb the spread of COVID-19 have tested positive, while four drivers of the state-run Kadamba Transport Corporation Ltd who were on duty, were also found infected.