Panaji: Cases in Goa are on the rise because the state has increased the number of daily tests, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Wednesday, a day after the state logged its highest number of deaths and its daily infection rate peaked at 1,160 in 24 hours.
Sawant also ruled out a lockdown in the state, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi had himself said in his address to the nation on Tuesday that a lockdown ought to be the last option for states.
“The cases are increasing because we are testing more now. Earlier we were testing 2,000, now it is nearly 3,200,” Sawant said.
The Chief Minister also said that the death rate due to Covid-19 was increasing in Goa — 26 persons died from Covid-19 on Wednesday — because patients were delaying getting themselves admitted to hospitals.
“People are coming in late. They sit in fear at home. They should instead get admitted. We cannot do anything at the last stage,” Sawant said. The Chief Minister also said that the second Covid waves was impacting people below 50 years.
Returning from Delhi on Wednesday, after meeting Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Sawant also said that he had briefed Shah in detail about the Covid-19 situation in Goa.
“I met Home Minister Amit Shah and briefed him in detail on the Covid-19 situation in the state. I have also briefed him about Covid management measures, availability of oxygen and medicines as well as the political situation (in Goa)” Sawant said.
Asked whether the state would opt for a lockdown in wake of the record number of cases, Sawant said: “A lockdown will not happen. As the PM said lockdown is the last option. Whatever major precautions are to be taken, will be declared after a meeting today”.
Sawant is expected to chair a high level meeting on Wednesday evening, to deliberate on measures related to Covid-19 control.