COVID19 COMES BACK HAUNTING…
PANAJI: Amidst the Omicron, a variant of COVID19, scare, seven inmates of Apna Ghar have tested positive for COVID-19.
As per information, a child was taken for testing as he was being released from the facility and was supposed to travel to Madhya Pradesh.
Once tested, the said child’s report came positive. Soon after, this rest batch of 6 children was tested and was found to be positive.
North Goa District Collector Ajit Roy said that a total of 7 children have tested positive for the virus and are accordingly being monitored by a team of doctors.
“As of now, the centre has not been turned into a micro-containment zone as the reach of the spread is particular to one house,” said Roy.
Meanwhile, other children and Staff have been pushed into isolation and are being monitored.
Goa Govt cautious on Omicron…
Following the Centre’s guidelines, the State government has asked all health centres to ramp up testing in the Centres.
“The health department has asked all health centres to be vigilant and ramp up,” said Dr Ira Almeida.
She also said that testing has also been ramped up at the airport for incoming travellers.
Tourism industry cautious
Ahead of the world-renowned Christmas-New Year celebrations in Goa, the tourism sector in the state is keenly watching the likely impact of a new coronavirus variant that was detected in Southern Africa recently and one which the World Health Organisation has christened ‘Omicron’ and labelled a ‘Variant of Concern’, stakeholders said on Sunday.
They said chartered flights and international services bringing in foreign tourists start arriving by the middle of December, heralding what the sector expects to be another fruitful season post a robust one during Diwali as the coastal state became the preferred destination for domestic travellers after the Covid-19 pandemic ebbed.
“We are waiting and watching. Until now, there is no impact [of Omicron], but we will have to wait and watch all the developments over the next 15 days. If cases go up, then protocols will have to be adhered to even more strictly,” Travel and Tourism Association of Goa president Nilesh Shah said.
He said lack of precaution has been the primary reason why cases went up in the past, though the country is better equipped to tackle an outbreak now as some 70 per cent of the eligible population has taken at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Explaining the situation with chartered flights expected to arrive in the state, Shah said, “The process of issuing visas has started. The severe Covid-19 wave in Russia is cooling off, the cases in the UK are coming down. The Union government has allowed international flights from December 15, and many tourists come here on scheduled flights.”
Putting up a brave front when asked if there was fear of losing the Christmas and New Year season to a resurgent virus variant, Shah said Goa was a safe destination as 100 per cent of the eligible population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.
“Moreover, we are not afraid as such. We have to learn to do business with the presence Covid-19 around,” Shah asserted.