Panaji: Goa will offer free of cost vaccination to people above the age of 18 years, when the mass vaccination programme rolls out for all citizens of major age from May 1, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Thursday.
“Our Govt will be placing an order initially for 5 lakh doses of #COVID19 vaccines directly from the manufacturer. Altogether 15 lakh plus doses will be procured at a cost of over Rs 60 crores. The vaccines will be administered free of cost to people between the 18-45 age group,” Sawant tweeted on Thursday.
The vaccine will be sourced from the Serum Institute of India.
In the first two rounds of vaccination of frontline workers and citizens above the age of 45, 2,11,906 have been vaccinated with the first dose, while 54,729 persons have been administered the second dose, a senior health official said.
Popular Goa Beach Villages Identified As ‘Very High Risk Areas’
Goa’s prime beach villages, namely Baga, Calangute and Anjuna, have been identified as “very high risk areas” in North Goa with high chance of contracting Covid-19, according to the findings of GPS mapping exercise of Covid-19 cases conducted by the state’s top government hospital.
The three beach villages currently top the list of long-staying tourists and work-for-home professionals who have descended on Goa over the last few months, especially from metros in wake of the pandemic.
In South Goa district, Fatorda, a suburb of Margao, one of the biggest towns in the state, the port city of Vasco da Gama and Gogol, another Margao suburb, top the list of “very high risk areas”.
The study conducted by the Goa Medical College, the state’s apex government health facility, has also identified urban hubs like Porvorim and St Inez, both suburbs of the state capital, and Mapusa as “very high risk areas”, which have been coded pink in the study in the North Goa district.
The study formed the base of Chief Minister Pramod Sawant’s decision on Wednesday to impose a night curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. up to April 30.
Most of the areas identified in the study, which has mapped the expanse of the state with use of GPS, as “very high risk areas” are located in the populated and tourism-friendly coastal belt of Goa, which is home to its popular beaches.
Goa has witnessed a deluge of Covid-19 cases over the last few weeks, in sync with the infection patterns witnessed in most parts of the country.
As of Thursday, the state has reported 1,410 new Covid cases over the last 24 hours, during which 21 persons have died. The state currently has a positivity rate of 36.09 per cent. So far, 10,228 persons have tested positive for Covid-19 since the pandemic broke out.
In response to the steep spike in the number of infections and deaths, Chief Minister Sawant was forced to impose a night curfew in the state on Wednesday up to April 30.
Class 10 and 12 exams which were scheduled to be held in the months of April and May have also been postponed.
Dr Shivanand Bandekar, dean of the Goa Medical College, the state’s top health facility said that people who have developed Covid-19 like symptoms and are awaiting test results, should already start building their immunity.
“Why waste three to four days for the test results. Start building you immunity by consuming the prescribed medication right away,” he said.