In an exclusive conversation with Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, Goa Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant said that one of the reasons the state became 'zero COVID State' is because it enforced lockdown much before it was announced nationwide and had screening process in place at entry points to detect novel Coronavirus infected persons. Goa had reported seven cases of COVID-19, all of whom have recovered.
"We extended the Janta Curfew for the next two days (March 23 and 24) and on March 25, PM Modi declared the nationwide lockdown. So we had already sealed Goa's borders on March 22 (day of Janta Curfew). We screened air travellers with thermal guns (at airports) and put people under quarantine for suspected infection. This strategy helped us to control the situation," CM Sawant said.
Pramod Sawant said that once seven patients of COVID-19 were detected, medical teams jumped in to treat them and got them recovered. "Now, there is no positive case in Goa. We had a lot of hard-working medical staff, administration officials and police officers and public support helped us become zero COVID State," the CM said.
When asked about how Goa will manage people coming from places Mumbai, Gujarat and Delhi once the lockdown is lifted, Pramod Sawant said that he would request for an extension of the lockdown for a few days.
"We will be having a video conference with PM Narendra Modi on April 27 and would request an extension for a few days, otherwise there will be problems. Transport from air and road need to be paused for some more time. We are very close to Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala and many tourists and other people would come into Goa through air, rail and road," CM Pramod Sawant said.