Displaying timely action over the COVID-19 outbreak, Goa closed its borders and enforced strict lockdown which helped the state in becoming free from the pandemic. Goa had closed its borders even before the Centre announced a nationwide lockdown.
On March 21, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant-led government ordered to shut down beaches, restaurants, and places of public gatherings even before reporting its first positive case of COVID-19. The state government also closed its borders for the entry of passenger vehicles coming through Maharashtra and Karnataka.
Utkrisht Prasoon, Superintendent of Police, North Goa told news agency ANI, that since March 21, the force has enforced a strict lockdown on the borders. Multiple departments have been working to ensure no movement of people in and out of Goa while allowing the smooth movement of essential goods.
"We have deployed staff on non-motorable roads as well. Locals are working with us to stop people's movement. We have taken local people into confidence in our fight against the coronavirus," said Prasoon.
"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," he added.
The police are also ensuing good interdepartmental system at the borders, such as the Keri border shared with Karnataka as a lot of fruits are brought in from the neighbouring state.
The North Goa SP further said that the enforcement of social distancing norms at open places has also helped Goa in becoming COVID-19 free. Prasoon said the focus of his department was on ensuring that people wear masks at public spaces.
The SP, along with DIG Parmaditya visited check-points of the Goa-Karnataka border and briefed the staff regarding duties and safety precautions.
The coastal state had recorded seven positive cases of COVID-19, and all the patients have been cured, making the state free from Coronavirus. Goa's bordering state Maharashtra has the highest number of positive cases in the country. Karnataka, which also shares its border with Goa, has over 500 COVID-19 cases.
(With inputs from ANI)