Verna IE spreading Covid all over Goa? Why Govt is so secretive?

Sandesh Prabhudesai | 09 July 2020 23:10 IST

Verna Industrial Estate is becoming Goa’s major hotspot, more dangerous than Mangor or Zuarinagar, spreading Covid cases all across Goa, from Pedne to Canacona.

Yes, the deadly virus reached Goa’s prime Industrial Estate from Mangor like areas from Vasco, like how it reached Mangor from somewhere else, roots of which today can be found in China.

But today this industrial estate is spreading Covid19 all over Goa since people come to work here from all corners of the state.

In spite of knowing that cases are rising since a fortnight, the pharma related companies, whose workers are found positive, continued its production instead of going for a temporary shutdown.  

As a result, Tulip Diagnostics has now been told to shut down all its eight units with South Goa Collector issuing an order that all its employees and officers should home-quarantine for 14 days.

For a strange reason, authorities including South Goa Collectorate are too secretive about Verna, due to which no information can be sought officially.

Government’s health bulletin is completely misguiding, not known if it’s deliberate. The first Covid positive case of Verna was confirmed by Directorate of Health on 29th June and the latest one on 9th July is showing only 8 cases.

However, goanews.com learns that official figure of cases detected in different industrial units in Verna, especially pharma-related units, has crossed 50. And it would cross 100 once pending test results come.

 “Even we are not told how many cases are detected in our own industrial estate”, states Damodar Kochkar, President of Goa Small Industries Association, who runs an industrial unit at Verna.

The figure is believed to have been restricted to 44 mainly because there are no Covid tests conducted except three or four industries. The authorities have simply not bothered to conduct tests in all the industrial units.

And in spite of this scary situation, the authorities have shut down only one Tulip while there is no move to shut down other units where positive cases are detected, forget declaring the industrial estate as a Containment Zone.

 “They did not listen to us to shut down their units temporarily as soon as cases were detected a fortnight ago”, states Kochkar helplessly.

Dr Ramarao Wagh, original resident of Mandur and BJP’s candidate in St Andre in last election, told goanews.com that he wrote a strong email to Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant to take firm steps as cases  related to Verna are mounting day by day.

He is worried since there were only 4 positive cases detected, 2 each in Mandur and Neura, who work at Verna. But that has spread to 5 more in Mandur and 7 more in Neura. Reports of other contacts are still awaited. Today’s count is 16 originating from 4 from Verna industries.

The most typical case was in Mapusa. One Verna employee was found positive, whose family also runs a newspaper stall and he sits on the stall. Due to this, almost 256 people in and around Khorli were tested and DM’s College of Assagao was shut down till all reports were tested negative. Whole city of Mapusa did not get newspapers for two days since even the main agent was getting home quarantined as a precaution.

Meanwhile, another lady at neighbouring Canca Bandd working in Verna was tested positive along with her mother-in-law.

The Verna virus is spreading so fast that two Verna cases from Loutolim spread it to another 26 people in three families. All of them are presently being admitted either in Covid hospital or Covid Care Centres, depending on who is symptomatic or asymptomatic.

Health Bulletin of 9 July 2020

While authorities are very much secretive about Verna cases, goanews.com conducted an exercise across Goa by going  through newspaper reports as well as contacting the mofussil correspondents from respective areas.

We did not get all the reports, but what we got is really shocking. Almost double the cases of the number of employees working at Verna Industrial Estate.

And many more reports still awaited….

It simply means it is spreading from North to South of Goa.

Read the following table:

Interestingly, Tulip, having eight units at Verna Industrial Estate,  produces Viral Transport Medium (VTM), which is used to conduct a swab test of Covid19.

Though no official information is available in this regard, employees claim it makes 50,000 VTMs per day, being supplied all over India for testing Covid positive cases.

Unfortunately, the same diagnostic firm is today infected with Covid19!!!

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