An eight-year-old with a travel history to the United Kingdom has tested Omicron positive in Goa. Reportedly, the boy was tested as per the COVID-mandated protocols upon his return to Panjim on December 17. After testing positive for coronavirus, the sample was sent to Pune's NIV institute for genome sequencing to detect the Omicron variant which reported a positive result on Monday. Additionally, 67 COVID cases were detected in Goa in the last 24 hours marking an almost threefold increase from Sunday.
Active COVID caseload stands at 465 in Goa
While 25 cases were reported in Goa on Sunday, the coastal state witnessed a sudden spike on Monday. At present, there are 465 active cases of coronavirus infections in the state including a single Omicron positive case. Talking about the same, the health minister of Goa tweeted, "We will take steps as per the protocol of government of India, necessary stringent measures will be taken by the government of Goa in the public interest based on the advice given by the expert committee."
In a bid to eliminate the risk of another wave of COVID in the state in the upcoming New Year celebrations, the Chief Minister of Goa has urged people in the tourism industry along with travellers to stay alert and stay safe.
Genome sequencing lab to be set up in Goa soon
In an attempt to upgrade the existing healthcare infrastructure in the state, the government of Goa is mulling over starting a genome-sequencing laboratory in the state. Currently, the samples are sent to a virology lab in Pune for genome sequencing which takes more than a week's time usually. By setting up this lab, the authorities aim for early detection of this fast-spreading virus thereby limiting its spread while making the state self-reliant as well.
In view of the rising cases in Goa, the expert committee on the COVID-19 management in the state has advised the authorities to impose curbs to contain the spread of this virus. While the committee emphasised reinstating the night curfew, no suggestions were given for schools and other educational institutes. Apart from this, the body also recommended a mandatory show of negative RT-PCR reports of travellers not older than 72 hours, while checking into hotels. Reportedly, the committee headed by the CM of Goa is likely to meet tomorrow to discuss these recommendations put forward by the experts.