Panaji: Goa reported six new Covid cases on Thursday and a case positivity rate of 0.9% with 652 samples tested. The six new cases have taken the tally of current active Covid-19 cases in the state to 43. This is the highest tally seen since April 5. There continue to be no cases of hospitalisations and no Covid mortalities.
Panaji: Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) chairman Bharat Bhushan Nagpal retired on Saturday after a three and a half year stint at the helm as the chairman and managing director of the government-owned shipyard. GSL’s finance director T N Sudhakar has been given additional charge as the interim chairman and managing director. Nagpal, who joined GSL in 2016 as director for corporate planning and business development took charge as chairman and managing director in December 2018 and has since sustained the shipyard’s growth and expansion. GSL’s order book stands at Rs 14,670 crore, it’s highest ever, and under Nagpal’s watch, GSL has also forayed into new business lines including development of autonomous vessels and the use of artificial intelligence in shipbuilding and maintenance in partnership with the private sector. During Nagpal’s tenure, GSL concluded the contract for five offshore patrol vessel (OPVs) and also commenced construction of the two stealth guided-missile frigates for the Indian Navy. GSL is also building two indigenous pollution control vessels and eight fast patrol vessels for the Indian Coast Guard and a floating dock for the Sri Lankan Navy. During his service, Nagpal laid special emphasis on corporate social responsibility, extending support to local communities and the government and working towards a link up with academia and start-up incubation centres. During the pandemic, he offered to help the state government with isolation and quarantine centres and also contributed Oxygen production plants and ventilator units to the government.
Staff ReporterVascoCommodore Bharat Bhushan Nagpal, NM, Indian Navy (Retd), Chairman & Managing Director, Goa Shipyard Limited has superannuated on Saturday and has relinquished charge as CMD of one of the premier Defence Shipyardsof India.Commodore Nagpal joined Goa Shipyard in 2016 as Director (Corporate Planning and Business Development) following a distinguished career of 32 years as a Naval Architect Officer with the Indian Navy. He took charge as Chairman and Managing Director of Goa Shipyard on December 1, 2018 and has since spearheaded the Yard ensuring sustained growth and expansion.Under his leadership and the commitment of Yard employees, Goa Shipyard continued its track record of ensuring on-time delivery of vessels successfully concluding the 05 Offshore Patrol Vessel order for the Indian Coast Guard despite disruptions posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The yard signed the contract for two P1135.6 missile frigates for the Indian Navy and commenced production in record-time for the largest and most complex warship building project undertaken by GSL.GSL has also established its position as a competitive shipbuilding and refit brand in domestic and export market. Cmde Nagpal’s tenure saw the yard bag several orders on a competitive basis from the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, the Indian Army, state administration and foreign friendly countries. In recent months alone, GSL has commenced the construction of two indigenous Pollution Control Vessels, signed a contract for 08 Fast Patrol Vessels for the Indian Coast Guard and construction of a floating dock for SriLanka Navy.On his superannuation, Cmde Nagpal expressed his profound gratitude to all employees and workers of Goa Shipyard, the Unions and the Ministry of Defence..for their unwavering support and commitment that has ensured that the Yard continues to reach new heights.
Panaji: Goa reported six new Covid cases on Friday with nil hospitalisations and nil deaths. A total of 469 samples were tested with a case positivity rate of 1.28%. Goa’s case positivity rate crossed the one percent mark twice this week, after several weeks. Active cases are at 44, the highest since April 2. Goa’s weekly positivity rate is 0.94% for North Goa and 0.82% for South Goa between April 22 and April 28.
Staff ReporterPanajiThe number of COVID cases doubled in Goa on Wednesday with the detection of 14 fresh cases.On Tuesday, Goa had logged seven fresh cases at a positivity rate of 1.23%.The test positivity rate recorded on Wednesday is 0.97% and the tally of active cases has risen to 39 in the state.Fortunately, no new death linked to the dreaded virus was reported in the last 24 hours.Two patients were declared as recovered in the last 24 hours andthe overall recovery rate in the state continues to be at 98.43%.The confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Goa currently stand at 2,45,409 of which 2,41,538 patients have defeated the deadly disease. Till date, 3,832 patients have died due to COVID-19 in the state.Meanwhile, amid a rise in fresh COVID-19 cases across the country, the public health department on Wednesday issued an advisory asking citizens to continue wearing masks at all public places.In an official communiqué, the department has urged people to continue observing all appropriate COVID behaviour as important preventivemeasures against the virus.It is pertinent to note that on Monday the expert committee of doctors had opined that the emergence of fourth COVID wave cannot be ruled out and hadrecommended wearing of face masks in public places and closed rooms.
Panaji: Goa reported six new cases of Covid infections and nil deaths on Sunday. With this, the total number of positive cases has now gone up to 25. Meanwhile, a total of 711 samples were tested and the case positivity rate currently stands at 0.84%. The state has reported 3,832 Covid deaths, 2.45 lakh cases and over 31,000 hospitalisations since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. Goa’s recovery rate stands at 98.43 percent.
Panaji: After several weeks Goa’s Covid-19 case positivity rate, that had stayed below 1%, went up to 1.2% on Tuesday. During the day, seven new cases were detected for 567 samples tested. There were no deaths and no hospitalisations. TNN
Panaji: Goa’s weekly positivity rate is below 1%, but slightly above the national average. South Goa reported a weekly positivity rate of 0.8% and North Goa 0.7% between April 15 to 21. The national average, meanwhile, stands at around 0.4%. And while the case positivity rate for the country stands at 0.5%, in Goa it is 0.2%. Goa reported two Covid cases on Saturday with 882 samples tested. The count of Covid deaths and hospitalisations continue to be nil. The count of active Covid cases was at 22 and has continued to remain under the 50-mark for around a month now. Goa’s recovery rate stands at 98.4%.
Special CorrespondentPanajiDr. Shekhar Salkar, a member of the state government’s expert committee on COVID management, on Wednesday said that irrespective of whether fourth wave of the pandemic arrives in Goa or not, senior citizens in the state as well as those with co-morbidities should continue following all COVID-related guidelines including wearing of face masks and maintaining social distancing.“Places like Delhi and Uttar Pradesh are presently witnessing a surge in COVID cases, and as the borders of Goa are open with flights coming to the state from all around the country, especially Delhi, one cannot take chances,” he observed, predicting that Goa could be hit by fourth wave of the pandemic in oraround June.Speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’, Dr. Salkar said the central government withdrew the Disaster Management Act on March 31, 2022 and as such now all states are free to take decisions on COVID norms. “Chief Minister Pramod Sawant may have said that Goa would be mask-free soon, however no such order has been issued till date,” he clarified, pointing out that therefore, the old guidelines are still in force in Goa.“However, irrespective of what the guidelines say, every individual should take precautions as per his or her health conditions,” he appealed to Goans, maintaining that the threat of the pandemic is far from over especially for the senior people and those with co-morbidities.Dr. Salkar said the state government has not yet convened the meeting of the expert committee on COVID management in the wake of rise in the number of COVID cases in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.“I also feel that the government should not follow Maharashtra in declaring the state a mask-free state,” he reckoned.Replying to a question, Dr. Salkar said that new variants of coronavirus are less lethal, and as a consequence there have been less deaths of the infected people.“The more fast infecting virus it is, the less lethality it has,” he noted, reiterating that even then those who have health problems should not take the pandemic lightly.Meanwhile, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan has written to the governments of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Mizoram and Maharashtra over rising COVID cases.Maharashtra reported 137 COVID cases and three deaths on Wednesday, reporting a double from the 59 cases detected on Monday.Incidentally, Goa recorded five new COVID cases on Wednesday, while no deaths were reported.There are still 23 active cases in the state.
Panaji: Goa reported two new Covid cases on Monday taking the active tally to 19. A total of 349 tests were conducted with a case positivity rate of 0.5%. The state's recovery rate is at 98.4%. There were nil deaths and nil hospitalisations and nil hospital discharges. the two who tested positive are in home isolation.
Owen Coyle has achieved quite a lot in his coaching career, notably taking Burnley to the Premier League and back in English football's top flight after 33 years. At Jamshedpur, he not just took the club to its first playoffs, but also helped them win the ISL League Winners’ Shield. The experienced coach tells TOI in this exclusive interview how he scripted the success story in India. Excerpts… Can we say you are the best coach not to win the ISL trophy?I try and coach a team to the best of my abilities. The first target for Jamshedpur was to win the (League Winners’) Shield. All teams that qualify for the playoffs are very good teams. They can beat anyone on their day, but to win the League Shield over 20 games proves you are the best team in the country. We got 43 points, a record. When a coach does well, people say good things, and when things don’t go right, we are rubbish! The truth is we are somewhere in between. This Jamshedpur side looks completely different to the team you took charge last season when you joined from Chennaiyin FC…When I came in at Jamshedpur, with all due respect, I inherited half that team. There were some good players, but they weren’t my players, they weren’t my kind. The foreigners were good, but not for the way I wanted to play, with that intensity. Each transfer window I had to change things and become better. That’s what I did. I brought Boris (Singh), Len (Doungel) because I wanted a faster, quicker team. Brought in Farukh (Chaudhary) back. In my first game in India (for Chennaiyin against Jamshedpur), Farukh caught my eye. I said ‘oh goodness, what a player does Jamshedpur have’, so I got him back last January (from Mumbai City). In the summer, I changed things again with Greg (Stewart), Eli (Sabia), Jordan (Murray), they were important pieces. Alex (Lima) wasn’t fit last year and I knew what he could do. The Indian players were important too, so we brought in Pronay (Halder) for experience in the middle, there was Ritwik (Das), Komal (Thatal) all having their best season and young Dinpuia, who we watched in the I-League, too. A striking feature of this Jamshedpur side is how players who did not find favour with other clubs did well here. How did you turn around their fortunes?We are all a little bit biased in the type of players we like. You like a certain type of players. I know the kind of players that I need to succeed. It's like a jigsaw that we try to fit, and they fit evenly together. That’s what we have done. I looked at other teams to see who we could get, because I don’t have the budget of ATK (Mohun Bagan) and Mumbai to go and buy (Hugo) Boumous, Liston (Colaco), Apuia. What I do have is an eye for very good players. I work with them, give opportunities and very importantly, give them the trust of the coach. If they make mistakes, honest mistakes, I can accept that. In one of the interviews, Ritwik said the coach is demanding. I am, because when you start climbing up the ladder, I won't let them drop. I will push them further up that ladder, and if that means demanding, so be it. The players here have been wonderful. Let me tell you about Anas (Edathodika). He may not have got minutes, but he’s been a very good professional. You look at young Ishan Pandita. Obviously, Sunil (Chhetri) has been unbelievable, but Ishan (Pandita) is the next natural number nine. Liston and Manvir (Singh) are good players, but for me Pandita is more dangerous. He is a more natural striker. We wouldn’t have won this Shield, if it was not for Pandita's two back-to-back goals. That’s four extra points, all important. Stewart has been one of the biggest success stories in this season’s ISL and a leading contender to win the Golden Ball for the best player. How did you manage to convince him to come to India after winning the Scottish Premiership with Rangers?He’s the best. We were missing a number 10, like I had Rafa (Rafael Crivellaro) at Chennaiyin. When I came in at Jamshedpur, I tried to sign Rafa, but he had already extended (his contract) with Chennaiyin. I was always on the lookout for that kind of player because it was essential to how we play. I knew Greg had a number of offers. I spoke to Steven Gerrard (coach at Rangers then), Gary McAllister (former assistant coach at Rangers), a good friend of mine, Ross (Wilson), the director of football at Rangers, and Steve Clarke, the national coach. I knew of his abilities, what I wanted to know is of him as a person. I knew I had to convince him to come to Jamshedpur and play in ISL. I wanted to be well armed for how I went about (convincing Greg to come to Jamshedpur). I didn’t want to phone him and he would respond ‘thanks for the offer, but it's not for me’. We had a brilliant conversation. He is a champion. When you play at Rangers, the mentality is to win all games. I needed players like Greg. He’s been sensational. It’s important to sign very good players, but it’s more important you bring in good people. If you don't, particularly in this bubble, it will be your undoing. So, we had to make sure that the signings we are making are good people. Were they like the Peter Hartleys and other boys that we brought before? What made you replace Nerijus Valskis, a Golden Boot winner, with Daniel Chima during the January transfer window?He was not happy, so we decided to find a solution. I wanted to help Nerka, but I wanted to help the team as well because if the situation dragged on, it does not help anybody. I spoke to his agent Baljit (Rihal) and he said there is interest from Chennaiyin. I agreed to allow him to go and free up that space. I always rated Chima and knew him before he came to India. He was a three-time champion of Molde (in Norway) and played in the top leagues. I saw his games (with SC East Bengal) and he did well. A lot of people just judge strikers from the goals, but that’s not true. Players can contribute to the team without scoring. When they score, of course, it elevates them to a supreme level. I know people said, ‘wow, you let go of the Golden Boot winner’, but Chima certainly added to what we were doing in the second half of the season. Compared to all that you have achieved in your coaching career, where would you rank this ISL Shield triumph?I would say this is as good as anything for a number of reasons. People are saying you won the biggest game in the world to get (Burnley) into the Premier League, a 100m pounds game or whatever it is, but what we have been able to do here is truly remarkable. We are not the super clubs in the league, we are not a big spending club, paying big salaries, but we have done in such a manner that we played to win every game. Look at the records. This is as good as anything else because of how we have done it, the challenges, the bio-bubble. How challenging was it to handle the Covid-19 outbreak within the team’s bio-secure bubble?That was the toughest. When you do the quarantine (while getting inside the bubble), you are mentally ready. Then when you play games and to have an outbreak mid-season, that was a real challenge. Eli was inside his room for 14 days. We were eating off plastic trays, and by the time the food gets to you, the food isn't warm and (then to eat) with plastic forks. This was a challenge. We had to play FC Goa with one training session. We showed that we can dig in and win in different ways. That was a true testimony. I remember telling (assistant coach) Sandy in the dressing room that the win versus FC Goa will be our most important win because to have achieved that stuck in a hotel (in quarantine) without playing a match for 17 days and without training for 11 days, it was a remarkable achievement. That period (indoors) was mentally draining.
Panaji: Goa’s Covid-19 case positivity rate reduced to 0.7% on Tuesday with the state recording nine cases against 1,211 tests. The active caseload reduced to 85. Since March 1, as many as 192 cases have been registered. There were no casualties reported for yet another day. The state has recorded 3,830 Covid deaths since the beginning of the pandemic two years ago. The recovery rate was at 98.4%, which has been over the 98%-mark since last month.All nine Covid patients were home isolated and none required to be hospitalised. For the last few days, there have been no hospitalisations. tnn
Panaji: Goa recorded 19 Covid cases on Friday, its lowest single-day count after the third wave ebbed. With 1,411 tests conducted, the case positivity rate was at 1.3% as against 1.4% on Thursday. The tally of active cases reduced to 181 with 30 recoveries, while with a single fatality, the death count rose to 3,826. For yet another day, there were no hospitalisations, Since the past few days, hardly any patient has been hospitalised after being detected positive.
PANAJI: The charter season, already unimpressive as they’ve been coming from just two countries, hit another bout of turbulence after flights from Kazakhstan reduced from three flights a week to just one last month, due to internal disturbances in the central Asian country. The season had started on a cautiously optimistic note after charters from Russia and Kazakhstan began arriving, even as none came from the UK, Goa’s second-biggest market in this space. The Indian government permitted charters in December, and even though they started, they were no match for the numbers seen in previous years. “Due to turmoil in Kazakhstan, charters were stopped from January 5, and though operations resumed 15 days later, we now receive a single flight a week instead of three earlier,” said Anupam Kumar, director of Caper India, which handles Kazakhstan tourists. A single charter a week bringing in about 150 travellers will continue till mid-April. The state has also been receiving a single charter once in ten days from Russia, and these operations are likely to continue till mid-May. During the pre-Covid period, for every season for more than a decade, Goa received the highest number of charters from various Russian locations. The state received about 2-2.5 lakh charter tourists a season, half of whom came from Russia, till the pandemic changed it all. With the charter season reaching its end, no charters from new destinations can be expected this season. “We can only expect the next season to be better,” said Nilesh Shah, president, travel and tourism association of Goa (TTAG). Shah, however, said that Goa may see some free independent travellers (FIT) in the following months, now that the government of India has done away with restrictions for international travellers. International travellers arriving from at-risk countries no longer need to quarantine or get tested on arrival. In fact, charters from the UK scheduled for December 2021 were cancelled after India announced stricter restrictions for travellers from at-risk countries, chiefly, 14 days of quarantine.
PANAJI: Goa's Covid case positivity rate stood at 8.6% with 259 new cases registered on Wednesday. With six fatalities, the toll rose to 3,760 while the active caseload reduced to 3,528. Eleven persons were hospitalised and 258 went on home isolation. There were 15 recoveries and 655 discharges over the past 24 hours. Four of the deceased were unvaccinated, one received one dose of the vaccine and the others two doses. A 72-year-old woman from Mapusa who received one dose of the vaccine was brought dead to the North Goa district hospital and a 75-year-old man from Navelim who was double vaccinated passed away within 45 minutes of admission at Goa Medical College. The other deceased, all unvaccinated, comprised a 52-year-old man from Sattari, 59-year-old man from Margao, 76-year-old woman from Ponda and an 84-year-old man from Curtorim.
Panaji: Goa’s Covid case positivity rate stood at 8.6% with 259 new cases registered on Wednesday. With six fatalities, the toll rose to 3,760 while the active caseload reduced to 3,528. Eleven persons were hospitalised and 258 went on home isolation. There were 15 recoveries and 655 discharges over the past 24 hours. Four of the deceased were unvaccinated, one received one dose of the vaccine and the others two doses. A 72-year-old woman from Mapusa who received one dose of the vaccine was brought dead to the North Goa district hospital and a 75-year-old man from Navelim who was double vaccinated passed away within 45 minutes of admission at Goa Medical College. The other deceased, all unvaccinated, comprised a 52-year-old man from Sattari, 59-year-old man from Margao, 76-year-old woman from Ponda and an 84-year-old man from Curtorim.
PANAJI: Goa’s Covid-19 cases on Sunday fell by almost half while testing dropped by over 50% as compared to Saturday. The state recorded a positivity rate of 14% with 282 new infections and 2,010 samples tested. Seven people lost their lives. Two of these, aged 65 and 42 years were brought dead. Both were double vaccinated. A 79-year-old passed away within 17 hours of hospitalisation. Of the deceased, four were unvaccinated while three were double vaccinated. Over the past 24 hours, 261 persons were home isolated, 21 admitted to hospital and 16 discharged.
Ban on roadshows continuesNew Delhi: The Election Commission on Sunday extended the ban on roadshows, ‘pad yatras’, cycle and vehicle rallies but gave fresh relaxations for indoor and outdoor physical campaigning events for the polls citing reduction in COVID-19 cases.The new relaxations will help political parties hold bigger physical campaigning events in the run-up to the polls in the five states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab and Manipur.The campaigning for phase one of Uttar Pradesh assembly election on February 10 ends on February 8 evening.The commission allowed opening up of physical campaigning events based on inputs received by state chief secretaries, its observers and the Union health ministry.The Union health secretary told the EC on Saturday that the poll-going states are contributing a very small proportion of the total reported COVID cases in the country.In a statement, the EC said restrictions regarding “outdoor meetings, indoor meetings, rallies” will be further relaxed subject to condition that the number of persons attending these events will be limited to maximum of 50% of the capacity of indoor halls and 30% of the open ground capacity or as fixed by district election officer as per requirement of the social distancing norms, and whichever is less.“If the state disaster management authority has set the ceiling limits or percentage of the capacity for number of persons attending indoor hall or open ground and they are stricter, SDMA guidelines will prevail,” the EC said.“Open ground rallies” can be held only in the grounds specifically designated by the district authorities and subject to compliance of all the conditions of SDMA.Allocation of these grounds will be given equitably by district administration through e-Suvidha portal on first come first serve basis, the EC pointed out. Capacities of these grounds will be fixed by the district administration well in advance and notify to all the parties.“There should be multiple entry and exit points so that there is no crowding as people are coming and leaving the venue. All entrances must have adequate hand hygiene and thermal screening provisions,” it said.In the last review on January 31, the commission had allowed political parties and candidates to hold outdoor meetings in designated open spaces with a maximum of 1000 persons (instead of earlier 500 persons) or 50% of the capacity of the ground and for indoor meetings, a maximum of 500 persons (instead of earlier 300 persons) or 50% of the capacity of the hall or the prescribed limit set by the SDMA, whichever number is lesser, from February 1 for all phases.On other campaigning means, the EC said maximum number of persons permissible for door-to-door campaigning fixed at 20 will remain as before. The ban on campaign between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. will also continue as before, the EC said.Chief Secretaries of poll-going states had apprised the EC that there has been significant improvement in the prevailing COVID situation, a considerable decrease in the number of positive cases of COVID and also decrease in cases of hospitalisation.“Most of them have recommended to the commission to consider for relaxation and allow increased number of persons in the indoor/outdoor campaign meetings,” the statement said.After receiving references from chief secretaries, the commission took inputs and views from its special observers. Many of them said the COVID situation has improved substantially and positivity rate has come down significantly. They have also stated that coverage of vaccination in the state is very satisfactory for the first dose, second dose and precaution dose to frontline workers and poll duty officials.“In this light, they have recommended that the commission may consider revisiting the existing campaign guidelines and permit further relaxation in the campaign norm to ensure greater participation in the ongoing election process. Most of them recommended to increase limit the number of people attending the rallies in open and indoor space to about 50% and not limiting it to a number,” the statement said.On Saturday, the Union health secretary briefed the EC about the ground situation of COVID-19. He informed that COVID cases are fast receding in the country and even in the reported cases maximum cases are reported from non-poll going states.The EC said it will continue to review the situation.
Panaji: After the administrator of comunidades for north zone postponed the elections for the comunidades of Bardez, Bicholim and Pernem talukas, the central zone has followed suit and decided to call off the polls for Tiswadi and Ponda talukas. Administrator for central zone Geeta Nagvenkar said the decision has been taken in view of the surge in Covid cases and the concern among members that having elections in closed spaces is risky. Polls for the various comunidades were to be conducted in a closed room hall with several stakeholders expected to be present. “Conducting free and fair elections in such a situation is not possible and is also in violation of the order of the state government. Therefore, it has been decided to defer the elections of the managing committee - administrative board for 2022-2025 pertaining to the comunidades of Tiswadi and Ponda talukas,” Nagvenkar said. The state is yet to fix the date for the elections. Comunidade members had made several calls and representations expressing concern over the rising Covid cases and the risk of holding the elections in a closed room with a large crowd present. In view of the rising Covid-19 cases, the state government has restricted gatherings to 50 persons or 50% of the seating capacity while indoors. On Sunday, the North Goa collector extended these restrictions on reopening of schools till February 15. Conducting free and fair elections in such a situation is not possible and is also in violation of the order of the state government. Therefore, it has been decided to defer the elections of the managing committee
Panaji: The directorate of education (DoE) has issued a circular warning schools against denying leave to teaching and non-teaching staff who have tested positive for Covid-19. “It has been brought to the notice of this directorate that some school managements are not in favour of granting Covid-19 leave to staff of their respective school though they are found Covid-19 positive. It is enjoined upon all heads of government, aided, unaided primary, secondary, higher secondary and special schools to follow the referred circular for strict compliance,” the circular states. The DoE has said that the guidelines issued by the Union ministry of personnel last year should be followed while regularising leaves of those staff members found Covid positive. In view of the hardships faced by such staffers, the ministry had relaxed the leave rules. As per the relaxed norms, if the staffer is positive, then he or she is eligible for grant of commuted leave of up to 20 day, which can be availed by presenting a Covid positive report. If commuted leave is not available, then the staffer can be granted special casual leave of 15 days followed by earned leave of five days or extraordinary leave and this period should also be counted ‘as qualifying for service’, as per the guidelines. If any dependent of the staffer, including parents, is found Covid positive, the employee is eligible for 15 days of leave, the directorate has reminded. If an employee is in home quarantine for coming in contact with a Covid positive person, the staffer should be allowed to work from home for seven days.
Panaji: More than 200 personnel at Goa Medical College have tested positive for Covid-19, severely affecting the functioning of the state’s premier healthcare institution. Over 100 of these are resident doctors and consultants, and the number of positive cases at the hospital have doubled in just 2-3 days. Earlier this week, GMC diverted its personnel and resources towards Covid care, and routine surgeries and OPD services were put on hold after a barrage of Covid cases hit the hospital’s functioning. Now, as cases increase at a rapid pace, top sources said that the hospital’s functioning will be badly hampered if an emergency plan isn’t drawn up. “With each infected person required to be in home isolation for a minimum of seven days, perhaps more in some cases, the GMC must have a disaster management plan in place,” the source said. Even as the hospital has downscaled its routine services, it’s the only place in the state for the common man to rush to for emergency tertiary care. “Patients needing emergency tertiary care will suffer if GMC’s strength is further reduced owing to Covid infections among its staff,” he said. “The mild Covid patients can easily be attended to by a medical officer and managed in other hospitals. GMC beds should be reserved for grave Covid cases.” As of Sunday, three GMC heads of departments are infected with Covid and are in home isolation. Presently, the majority of Covid patients are treated at GMC’s super-specialty block, while other government hospitals are yet to admit Covid patients. Of the 300 beds at the block, close to 200 were taken up as on Sunday. The four government hospitals — two district hospitals and two sub-district hospitals — he said, must start admitting Covid patients, as GMC has already felt the heat with a large number of its personnel testing positive. Pointing out to a similar situation playing out in other states, he said some hospitals have reached a state of shutdown, as more than 50% of their staff are positive. The GMC must therefore have a plan ready before it reaches such a situation. “With the infectivity of Omicron being so high, it should not come as a surprise if more GMC staffers test positive over the next few days,” he said. Citing a study of the spread of the virus in the state, he said, Covid hot spots, which were 31 in number prior to Christmas, rose to 73 on January 4. The number is estimated to shoot up to 171 in the next few days, he said.
Panaji: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) Goa state branch has announced the starting of “paid Covid care centres” for asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic Covid positive patients. From Wednesday onwards, the facility will be available at South Goa at Hotel Ocean Residency located at Colva. Patients will be given a kit consisting of essential medicines and antibiotics. IMA doctors will also provide tele-consultation to admitted patients free of charge round-the-clock The cost per room for a single patient will be Rs 2,800 per day and the cost for a double room for two patients shall be Rs 4,500 per day where 12% GST will be applicable. The charges are inclusive of all meals. “Inpatients will be provided with a digital thermometer and and oximetre which will be on returnable basis. IMA Goa shall also install on-site oxygen concentrators and electric steamers for use of patients free of cost,” IMA Goa state president Dr Rufino Monteiro said. “Positive patients will be kept in the centre for a total of seven days, as per the central government guidelines. Patients will be issued a signed certification for successful completion of the quarantine period,” he added. The service will be available to medical professionals at a concession of 25% on room rates. Dr A Samuel, IMA past president is designated in-charge of the project. Those requiring the facility can contact 9873642589 for availability and admission.
Panaji: As the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic is creating havoc in the state, the Indian Medical Association’s Goa branch has re-opened its paid quarantine facility for asymptomatic and mildly-symptomatic COVID patients.According to a press communiqué issued by IMA state-president Dr. Rufino Monteiro “Hotel Ocean Residency located at Colva in South Goa” has been madeoperational as a paid quarantine facility from Wednesday.“A kit consisting of essential medicines and antibiotics shall be given free of cost to the patients. Cost per room for a single patient will be `2,800 per day. Cost for double bedroom for two patients shall be `4,500 per day.12% GST shall be applicable and the charges are inclusive of all meals,” Dr. Monteiro said.He further said that IMA doctors will provide tele-consultation to the admitted patients free of charge round-the-clock and added that Dr. A. Samuel, past president of IMA is the in-charge of the project.He said that all medical professionals will be given 25% concession on accommodation charges.
Canacona: Congress members on Tuesday stopped vehicles at the Polem checkpost demanding that thorough checking of medical documents be sought from Karnataka vehicles entering Goa. They were retorting on the RT-PCR reports and the two vaccine doses made compulsory by the Majali checkpost police. Congress’ general secretary Janardhan Bhandari said, “If they can stop all those who do not possess the 72-hour valid negative RT-PCR report, why can’t the Goa government make it compulsory for those who enter Goa from the Polem gate to have a certificate.” Bhandari said that he, along with some office bearers, visited the Polem checkpost only to find that the Goa government is too lenient even after thesurge of Covid cases in the state. “They are failing to halt traffic entering Goa to check RT-PCR other medical documents of those entering into Goa from Karnataka,” he said. Bhandari further said that this insensitive, corrupt BJP government has shown scant care and respect for lives of Goans and even after rapid surge of Covid cases in the state, it has kept Goa’s borders wide open. A person who spoke to TOI, on the other side of Polem checkpost, said that even after having two doses of vaccination, the staff of the Karnataka checkpost didn’t allow him to cross the border as he didn’t have an RT-PCR certificate.
Panaji: The state recorded spike of 2,476 new COVID infections in the last 24 hours at a high positivity rate of 30.36%, portending a grimmer situation in the days to come.The pandemic claimed four more lives on Tuesday, while the tally of active COVID cases rose to 12,019.The confirmed cases of COVID in Goa currently stand at 1,93,977, of which 1,78,421 patients have defeated the deadly disease.Till date, the pandemic has claimed 3,537 lives in the state. It is pertinent to note here that the public health department capped the COVID testing rate: now Rs 500 will be charged from the people for the conventional RT-PCR done using open-ended systems, while Rs 250 will be charged for the rapid antigen testing done using lateral flow immune chromatography equipment.The expert committee of doctors have made light of the rising COVID test positivity rate opining that enforcing COVID curbs should not be based on positivity rate, but rather on hospitalisation rate.It has been observed that hospitalisation rate is also gradually increasing and is expected to peak in the next two weeks, which will deteriorate the situation.This is for the first time in nearly eight months that the state has seen a single-day rise of over 2,000 COVID cases. From December last week, Goa is seeing an upward trend in new cases of infections.The directorate of health services is considering December 28 as the day from when the third wave of the pandemic began in the state. On that particular day the state saw 112 COVID cases at a positivity rate of 4.03 per cent.Medical experts have warned that the cases will continue to rise and the positivity may touch the 50% mark by next week.As many as 3,091 beneficiaries have been administered the booster (precautionary) dose of the anti-COVID-19 vaccine.Healthcare workers, frontline workers and senior citizens with co-morbidities are being given the third dose. The burden on health infrastructure and work pressure on healthcare workers will only increase in the coming days.Speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’, the Goa Association of Resident Doctors (GARD) president Dr Pratik Savant said that at least 15 resident doctors of the Goa Medical College and Hospital have tested positive for COVID since the beginning of the third wave of the pandemic.“The super-speciality block of the GMC has been made functional as the COVID-19, and some of our doctors are posted there; counselling of NEET-PG has also not started so residents (doctors) are less; so it’s (workload) stretching,” Dr Savant said.
Panaji: Goa reported a single-day spike of 2,476 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, the highest in eight months. The case positivity rate too jumped to 30.37%, almost six percentage points higher than Monday’s 24.7%. Goa now has over 12,000 active Covid-19 cases. The mortality count, too, shot up to 3,537, with four more deaths. Two men aged 88 and 74 from Tiswadi, both with comorbidities, died after less than two days of hospitalisation. One of the two had received a single dose of the Covid vaccine, while the other was unvaccinated. A 91-year-old woman from Saligao who died after three days of treatment was also not vaccinated. Over the last 24 hours, Goa conducted 8,154 tests — 4,741 RT-PCR and 3,413 rapid antigen — the highest so far, while 3,103 reports were pending. Of these, 2,522 tests were performed at private laboratories. The highest number of tests were performed at Hospicio and Asilo. The recovery rate further dropped to 91.98%, although 592 patients were declared cured, including 15 who were discharged from hospital. As many as 27 patients were hospitalised over the past 24 hours. In the last two days alone, over 60 patients had to be hospitalised, while the remainder are being managed in home isolation. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, 1,579 people were administered the precautionary dose and 639 school children were vaccinated with the first dose. Around 974 people also received their first dose. As of Tuesday, 11.27 lakh people have been fully vaccinated, and 2.14 lakh are yet to receive their second dose.
Panaji: Both districts of the state have breached the 20% weekly positivity rate mark. North Goa’s positivity rate rose to 23.7% and South Goa’s to 21.3% for the week between January 2 to 8. More than 60% of the positives were detected through the gold standard RT-PCR testing and the rest via rapid testing. Both districts have continued to feature on the union health ministry’s list of states with a weekly positivity rate of over 10% since the end of December. The state’s positivity rate has risen from 6.5% on January 1 to 24.8% on January 10, with one in every four tests returning a positive result now. Cumulative daily infections over the first ten days of January crossed 9,000 on Sunday. The state’s active Covid count, which stood at 1,338 on January 1, increased ninefold to cross 9,200 cases on January 10, with over 80 persons hospitalised and 10 dead during this period. On Sunday alone, 1,917 persons were put in home isolation. Veteran actor Nafisa Ali too tested positive in the state on Sunday. Goa’s exponential rise in cases continued with 1,922 new infections and one death reported. The new infections have taken the active tally to 9,209. With 7,761 samples tested, the daily positivity rate rose to almost 25%.
Panaji: Odisha FC are waiting anxiously for test reports of the entire team after one of their players tested positive for Covid-19 from a RTPCR test. According to sources, the player had cold and cough on Monday and was immediately isolated. A RTPCR test was later done and results confirmed fears of a positive case inside the Indian Super League (ISL) club’s bio-secure bubble. All others inside the Odisha bubble who had a rapid antigen test have tested negative. Odisha are now the third club to have a Covid-19 positive case inside the bubble, following cases at ATK Mohun Bagan and FC Goa. Odisha are scheduled to play Kerala Blasters at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco on Wednesday. Much of their fortunes will depend on the RTPCR tests done today and rapid antigen test (RAT) to be done prior to departure for the stadium. “Everyone’s on the edge at the moment,” a source who has tracked the development told TOI. “When ATK Mohun Bagan had a positive case inside the bubble, the whole team was sent into hard quarantine for four days. FC Goa were also not allowed to train for four days after some of their players were first suspected to have tested positive. We have to wait and see what happens with Odisha.” Interestingly, Odisha’s previous clash against ATK Mohun Bagan on Saturday was postponed after a player tested positive in the Kolkata camp and the entire team was sent into hard quarantine. Since then, ISL CEO Martin Bain has written to the clubs that it may not always be possible to reschedule matches. If 15 players are not available for a match, Bain said, the league will “try and reschedule” the match at a later date. If the rescheduling is not possible, a win with 3-0 margin will be awarded to the other team. If both teams have players unavailable, it will be considered a goalless draw. The rise in the number of positive cases is a cause for concern for all participating teams. "What we are most concerned about now is the Covid situation,” Kerala Blasters coach Ivan Vukomanovic said on Tuesday. “What we've seen so far, and in my opinion, it will burst out in different camps, it could be a challenge. Now we see in some team there are more cases, putting them in hard quarantine.” The League has taken additional precautions with testing every 12 hours and made it mandatory for everyone to wear N95 masks, even when they are on the substitute’s bench. New players and support staff who are joining teams are now quarantined at the league hotel – for better monitoring -- rather than the team hotel. The league has also restricted the number of club officials, outside the bio-bubble, who can attend their team’s matches at the stadium.
Staff Reporter PanajiThe COVID-19 test positivity rate touched a record high at 27.38% as the state saw 1,592 new infections in the last 24 hours, taking the tally of active cases above 10,000-mark.A total of 5,814 samples were drawn for testing at different centres across the state. The hospitalisation rate is increasing with every passing day, and on Monday as many as 23 patients were admitted to health facilities.One new death linked to the deadly disease was recorded in the last 24 hours; till date, 3,533 patients have succumbed to the deadly disease.The state has till date seen 21 cases of highly transmissible Omicron variant of COVID-19, which also include two that were reported on Monday.One person had arrived from the United Kingdom and the second patient had come to Goa from the UAE.According to the information shared by the directorate of health services, both the patients have already been discharged after they completed the 14-day quarantine period. The confirmed cases of COVID in Goa currently stand at 1,91,501 of which 1,77,829 patients have defeated the deadly disease.Meanwhile, 1,513 beneficiaries were administered the booster (precautionary) dose of the anti-COVID vaccine on Monday. Healthcare workers, frontline workers and senior citizens with co-morbidities are eligible for the third dose.
Panaji: Goa’s Covid positivity rate shot to 27.38% on Monday with 1,592 fresh cases being reported. On Sunday, the case positivity rate was 24.7%. The count of active cases has surged past the 10,000-mark. A 47-year-old man from Sakhali having no comorbidities died within 24-hours of being brought to the community health centre there complaining of chest pain. He had tested positive on December 29 and was in home isolation since then. With his death, the mortality count rose to 3,534. In the last 10 days, 11 people have lost their lives to Covid-19. Goa Congress president Girish Chodankar has tested positive. He has appealed to the people who met him recently to get tested if symptomatic. Several doctors from government hospitals, nurses as well as paramedics have tested positive, but the exact number is not available. On Monday, 5,814 tests were carried out comprising 3,898 RT-PCR tests. The total tests conducted during the day, however, were fewer than the 7,761 conducted on Sunday, the highest in the last many days. In the last 10 days the number of tests has doubled from the below 2,500 mark. On Monday, 23 patients were hospitalised. The number of patients needing hospitalisation has increased with the spike, though admissions are still under control. Goa has 10,139 active cases. Over the last 24 hours, 661 people were cured while the recovery rate stood at 92.86%. The recovery rate has declined in correspondence to the rise in positivity rate.
Panaji: Goa has been witnessing a faster escalation of Covid-19 cases in the ongoing third wave vis-a-vis the first and the second waves. Cases began rising from December 23 when the daily case count crossed 50, with cases ranging between 30 and 50 a week earlier. Since then, the growth has been unstable. Chest physicians, Dr Anil Mehndiratta and Dr Haradatt Karande both agreed that Goa could see the peak after 15 to 20 days. “We may see the peak at the end of the month, or the first week of February,” Karande said. With the exponential rise in cases, Mehndiratta said the peak should happen at the end of the month or latest by the first of next month. “In last 10 days cases have multiplied. We have seen cases go from 100 to 2,000. We will continue to see a huge rise unless precautions, which people have forgotten, are taken,” Mehndiratta said. Consulting physician at Healthway Hospital, Dr Chitralekha Nayak, said Goa is expected to reach the peak within a month, in a shorter period as was seen in South Africa. “However, the down trend of cases that is likely from the first week of February, may linger for a longer period with elections happening,” Nayak said. Goa will go to polls on February 14, while counting of votes is on March 10. While the Election Commission has said no public meetings and rallies will be permitted till January 15, even at small events, such as opening an election office, crowding happens and with hardly anybody maintaining social distance. Under the present wave, no sooner had the daily case count crossed 50, than the rise in infections was phenomenal. Cases doubled in five days and crossed 250 in another two days. In contrast, during the first wave of 2020, it took 20 days for cases to reach the 100 mark with a daily average of around 56 and another 20 days to breach the 200-mark on July 27. The peak during the first wave was seen after another 47 days when daily infections touched 740 on September 12 and the highest active count hit 5,920 on September 19. During the devastating second wave, which started in March 2021, the peak came 37 days after Goa breached the 200 mark. But throughout February and till March 19, 2021, daily average cases ranged between 50 and 100. The infection count breached the 200 mark within eleven days and it took another 37 days to hit the peak with 4,195 daily infections on May 7. It took another week to touch the highest active count of 32,953 cases.
PANAJI: The Congress party’s state president Girish Chodankar tested positive for Covid-19 and has gone into home quarantine. The party has asked all those who were in touch with Chodankar to isolate and get themselves tested if they show any Covid-19 symptoms. Chodankar has been in close touch with the party functionaries in Goa, which goes to polls on February 14. According to party officials, Chodankar began to show symptoms two days ago after a press conference where other senior state Congress officials were also present. “My prayers for speedy recovery of Goa Congress president Girish Chodankar who has tested positive for Covid-19,” said Margao MLA Digambar Kamat. “Girish is in home isolation and has requested all those who have come in contact with him to get themselves tested incase of any symptoms. He is praying for the well being of all.” Goa has seen a resurgence in cases after New Year festivities with close to 2000 fresh cases detected on Sunday. The state’s Covid positivity rate stands at 24.7 percent with one in every four tests giving a positive result for Covid-19. Given the rise in cases, the Election Commission of India has imposed several curbs and has prohibited political rallies and large gatherings but most political parties continue to flout the directions. On Friday, Chodankar was part of a large Congress morcha which was on its way to Raj Bhavan to present a memorandum to Goa governor P S Sreedharan Pillai. A day later, Chodankar addressed a press conference at the party election office where the party released a 21-point chargesheet against the BJP.
Several states impose more restrictions to check the surgeNew Delhi/Mumbai: Several states imposed fresh restrictions to check the COVID-19 surge and Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the situation at a high-level meeting on Sunday as cases continued to rise with 1,59,632 new infections reported, the highest in 224 days.The Prime Minister called for ensuring adequate health infrastructure in districts, boosting vaccine drive for adolescents in mission mode and continuing the public campaign focused on COVID-appropriate behaviour as they were critical in the battle against the pandemic.From Monday, the country would start administering precaution dose of COVID vaccine to healthcare workers, frontline workers, including personnel deployed for election duty, and those aged 60 and above with comorbidities.Modi said that a meeting with chief ministers will be convened to discuss state-specific scenarios, best practices and public health response, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.Highlighting the need to ensure effective usage of masks and physical distancing measures as a new normal to control the spread of COVID, Modi called for effective implementation of home isolation for mild and asymptomatic cases and to disseminate the factual information to the community at large.He tweeted after the meeting, “Had extensive discussions on the prevailing COVID-19 situation. Reviewed the preparedness of healthcare infrastructure, the vaccination drive, including for youngsters between 15 and 18, and ensuring continuation on non-COVID healthcare services.”The Prime Minister also said that non-COVID health services should be ensured while managing COVID cases presently and suggested leveraging telemedicine to offer health-related guidance to people in remote and rural areas, the PMO said.Most states and Union territories, including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi, have already announced night curfew and other restrictions in thewake of the imminent third wave.The Himachal Pradesh government on Sunday banned social and religious functions till January 24. It also prohibited any gathering of more than 100 people for indoor and 300 people for outdoor academic, sport, cultural and political events, according to an order.Attendance of staff at state government offices was capped at 50%. The restrictions, however, will not be applicable to emergency services.The Rajasthan government announced the closure of schools in municipal areas till January 17, a Sunday curfew and restricted market timings and occupancy at restaurants and movie theatres.A one-day complete lockdown was enforced across Tamil Nadu and most roads and other public places wore a deserted look.Suburban and other train operations, bus and other public transport services, including the Metrorail in Chennai, were suspended.Chief Minister M K Stalin had earlier ordered fresh curbs which included state-wide night curfew between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. with effect from January 6.The Puducherry government also announced that all schools conducting offline classes for students from classes 1 to 9 will remain shut from Monday.Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the state government will gradually bring curbs at places of worship and other sites, including liquor vends, that attract crowds to control the coronavirus pandemic.He, however, said that even as cases are rising, hospital bed occupancy and oxygen demand remain low.“When these start rising, we will enforce stricter restrictions,” he added.In the national capital, which was under weekend curfew, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said there is no plan to impose a lockdown as of now and that there will be no need for it if people wear masks.According to the Union health ministry data updated at 8 a.m. on Sunday, a total of 1,59,632 new coronavirus infections were reported, the highest in 224 days, while the active cases increased to 5,90,611, the highest in around 197 days.India logged 552 new cases of Omicron, taking the total tally of such infections to 3,623 across 27 states and UTs so far.Out of the total Omicron cases, 1,409 people have migrated or recovered.
Panaji: The state saw exponential rise in new COVID-19 infections on Sunday, even as the test positivity rate also continued to show an upward trend. A total of 1,922 COVID cases were recorded in the last 24 hours which is the highest during this third wave, and highest since the second peak of the pandemic.The positivity rate of the 7,761 samples tested in the last 24 hours is 24.76 %. The tally of active COVID cases also rose to 9,209.The DHS did not provide the health centre-wise breakup of these active cases. The confirmed cases of COVID in Goa currently stand at 1,89,909 of which 1,77,168 patients have defeated the deadly disease. Till date, the pandemic has claimed 3,532 lives; one death was registered in the last 24 hours.It is pertinent to note here that the directorate of health services will begin administering the booster (precautionary) dose of the anti-COVID-19 vaccine to the eligible population from Monday in the state.Healthcare workers, frontline workers and senior citizens with co-morbidities are eligible for the third dose.State immunisation officer Dr. Rajendra Borkar said that government officials, who will be on election duty on February 14, have been included in frontline workers category, adding that they too are eligible to receive the booster dose of the COVID vaccine.“The vaccination drives for these categories in all government health sectors including the Goa Medical College and Hospital. No new registration is required as only those who have already received the second dose will be eligible but there must be a gap of nine months between the second and the third dose. In other words, they should complete 273 days from the second dose or 39 weeks since they got their second dose,” Dr Borkar explained.He further said that those beneficiaries who received two doses of Covishield will get the same vaccine this time, and those who got Covaxin will get a third jab of that vaccine.
Panaji: There is growing concern within the Indian Super League (ISL) after an increase in Covid-19 positive cases inside the bio-secure bubble. In the last 48 hours, three ATK Mohun Bagan players tested positive for Covid-19 through a rapid antigen test (RAT), while three FC Goa players and a member of the coaching staff were previously sent into isolation after their reports threw up contrasting results. On Sunday, Goa were forced to cancel their training session after another player was feared to have tested positive. However, his RTPCR report late on Monday was negative. A match commissioner has also tested positive, though he was only completing his quarantine period and, according to sources, did not come into contact with anyone inside the bubble. Vendors and security officials at one of the stadiums are among those on the growing Covid-19 positive list. “The cases have largely emerged after new players and support staff joined (teams) this month,” a source who has tracked the development told TOI. “For the last four days, testing has increased with players being tested every day and those teams with suspect cases being tested every 12 hours. “ATK Mohun Bagan were sent into hard quarantine after one of their players tested positive on the morning of the match. If a team has come in contact with someone who has tested positive, they will also be asked to isolate.” The organisers postponed ATK Mohun Bagan’s clash against Odisha FC last week but have told teams to “maintain the sanctity of the bubble.” “The League had to postpone one of the matches because of a Covid positive case in a team bubble. The team had to be unfortunately put in hard quarantine, making all the players unavailable for the match,” FSDL CEO Martin Bain wrote in an email to all clubs. If 15 players are not available for a match, Bain said, the league will “try and reschedule” the match at a later date. If the rescheduling is not possible, a win with 3-0 margin will be awarded to the other team. If both teams have players unavailable, it will be considered a goalless draw. “Besides the testing, the League has made it mandatory for players and officials to wear N95 masks at all times, even when they are seated on the (substitute’s) bench. They can only remove the masks when they are doing warmups,” said another official. Goa missed four days of training prior to the clash against Chennaiyin last week. They missed another session after the game due to a false Covid alarm, and when they returned to training on Monday, it wasn’t the same. According to sources, players had to do a rapid antigen test before they left for training and only six players were allowed in the team bus. The two team buses made two trips each to ensure that all players travelled for training by maintaining social distancing norms. “The next few days are crucial. Everyone is on the edge,” said one source. The second phase of the ISL kicked off on Monday.
With the Omicron looking less deadly that the previous Delta variant businesses in the state will be able to weather the COVID third wave, believes CII-Goa.“The third wave may not have a major disrupting effect on operations of local units. Industry is better prepared this time. The protocols are in place for COVID spread. Companies have got their employees vaccinated and most of the local industrial workers have received two shots of the jab. It is boosted the confidence level of employees and workers,” said Atul Jadhav, chairman, CII-Goa.According to Jadhav the government’s decision to reduce the quarantine period to seven days will prevent staff shortage experienced during the previous wave.CII- Goa is not in favour of lockdowns or curbs restricting the movement of people. The industry body is also against mandatory RTPCR testing for tourists visiting the state. “Compulsory RTPCR will discourage tourists and derail the revival of the Goan hospitality industry,” said Jadhav.Several companies in the state have restarted work-from-home due to rapidly spreading Omicron. However factories in industrial estates are continuing to function normally.“Industry will function unless the government imposes curbs. During the first wave the quarantine period was 17 days, followed by 14 days in the second wave and now it is seven days. The quarantine period is not a big deal,” said Jadhav.He said that, industry fears government restrictions and frequent changes in rules.According to Jadhav, Goan industry is yet to recover fully from the previous two waves. “Local units are struggling due to 30-40 per cent increase in cost of raw material. They are also facing high logistics and transportation costs,” he said.With the government announcing a booster dose for the front-line workers in the state, Jadhav said that, even industrial workers and hospitality industry employees should be considered for the booster dose. “They must be next in line after doctors, health care workers,” he said.A CII study in the state on the COVID impact on industry post- first wave had revealed that, majority of local units closed down or functioned at less than 25 per cent of capacity due to restrictions in movement of workers as the government imposed lockdown.Further the supply chain movement was adversely affected due to which companies found it difficult to resume operations. Industrial units were also afraid of public ire against COVID outbreak in their offices.“COVID first wave was a difficult period for industry and the second wave was also tough because of the seriousness of the virus. Comparatively the third wave looks better,” said the CII-Goa chairman.
The Health Ministry had submitted a report on the resurgence and the status of vaccination coverage across the nation. (File Photo: IANS)The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Saturday said the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab and Manipur will be held in seven phases. Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra said Uttar Pradesh will go to poll in seven phases from February 10 to March 7; Punjab, Uttarakhand and Goa to vote on February 14 and Manipur to vote on Feb 27 and 3 March. The counting of votes will be held on March 10.The Union Health Ministry on Friday said that it presented the status of Covid spread and vaccination coverage in the five poll-bound states with the Election Commission of India. The meeting was held on Thursday.LIVE NOW | Assembly Election 2022: 5 States To Vote In 7 Phases Between Feb 10 And March 7; Results On March 10According to the ministry, the Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan in his meeting with ECI presented the overall global and domestic status of spread of Covid, as well as Omicron, in the country. The details were also presented on the status of preparedness of the public health response within the states for control and management of the increasing numbers of Covid cases.Ban on Poll Rallies Till Jan 15 as EC Learns from Bengal Missteps During 2nd Covid WaveUttarakhand Elections 2022: Voting on Feb 14, Counting on March 10. Peek Into the Battle for the HillsThe ministry quoted some media reports, which said: “Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in a meeting with the Election Commission of India (ECI) yesterday suggested that the ‘COVID situation in the country is nothing to be worried about’ and ‘there is no cause of alarm or concern in the view of the very few cases of Omicron in the poll-bound states". The health ministry clarified and said, “These reports are highly ill- informed, misleading and far from the truth. These reports have a very high tendency to start a mis-information campaign in the midst of a pandemic."Earlier, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had briefed the poll panel on December 27. During the interaction, the EC had asked the government to ramp up the vaccination programme in the poll-bound states. The EC could announce the dates for elections in these five states in the next few days.Several political parties have already announced cancellation of political rallies and are focusing more on digital campaigns in the wake of the unabated surge.The poll body had on Thursday reviewed the current Covid situation in the five poll-bound states with Bhushan, AIIMS Director, Dr Randeep Guleria, and ICMR chief Dr Balram Bhargava.The health experts have briefed the top Election Commission officials to focus majorly on virtual rallies, seeing the unprecedented rise in the Covid cases across the country. The need to ramp up the vaccination process was also emphasised.Recently, it also held a virtual meeting with political parties and poll officials from Manipur and said that for the first time, the option of postal ballot would be provided during the upcoming Assembly elections to 80+ citizens, persons with disabilities and Covid suspects or affected persons.“The postal ballot facility is an optional facility and ensures total secrecy of voting. Representatives of candidates will be present during the process and the total procedure will be videographed. In the state, 14,565 persons with disabilities and over 41,867 80+ citizens have been mapped," the poll panel said.(With inputs from agencies)Read all the Latest News, Breaking News and Coronavirus News here.