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SEC reviews measures taken to fight COVID-19


Panaji, April 23, 2020

The State Executive Committee (SEC) under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary, Shri Parimal Rai, IAS, held a meeting on April 22, 2020 at Forest Bhavan in Panaji to discuss various issues related to combating COVID-19. The meeting was attended by Principal Secretary Science and Technology,  Shri Puneet Goel, IAS, Secretary, Transport, Shri SK. Bhandari, IAS, Secretary Revenue, Member Secretary, SEC & SDMA, Shri Sanjay Kumar among others.  

The SEC was briefed about the reports on Law and Order, Trucks Movement Relief and Shelters, and Covid Status Report.

The SEC noted with caution that Goa had not yet faced any community transmission. Secretary, Health, Ms Nila Mohanan, IAS, shared the plan to test and quarantine the incoming seafarers, as per the SOP issued by the MHA. The Health department is setting up a tésting facility at MPT. Another facility is to be created at Pattradevi for those who might come by road from Mumbai.

The Health department intends to complete the testing within 24 hours and these seafarers shall remain in the ship till the results of the tests are clear. If tested negative, they should be shifted to an institutional quarantine facility for 14 days, and if tested positive, they should be shifted to Covid Hospital. The Cabinet has further decided that the payment for their lodging and food al the institutional quarantine should be made by the employer company.

Ms Mohanan also informed that the priority to deploy Kiosks (to take the samples safely) has changed after the MHAs clearance for the Sign on/Sing off of seafarers. In the first stage, the four Kiosks would be put up at MPT. After taking the sample by swab, the testing will be done at a testing facility at Bicholim, which is being set right now. The department has worked out a testing protocol with MPT. She also informed that anyone who wants to Sign On, needs to get their tests done by the private agencies at their own cost.

Ms Mohanan shared that the Government of India has appreciated the State for being the first to train and utilise the services of the Ayush doctors for the Covid related duties. The SEC expressed its satisfaction on the development.  

Secretary, Agriculture, Shri Kuldeep Singh Gangar, IAS, informed that the agricultural activities are normal. With the 12 Harvester currently in use, about 55 % harvesting is already complete in the State. The SEC asked him to extend all possible help to the farmers.

Director, IT, Ms Ankita Anand informed that entries of movement of vehicles at all border checkposts is normal, and being monitored through the new web application. She suggested that police and executive magistrate are doing separate but mostly similar entries about the movement of vehicles. The SEC agreed with her proposal to develop a unified application with suitable amendments in the existing application in use. 

Commissioner (Excise), Shri Amit Satija informed that 30 extra Excise guards were deployed at the borders. The SEC clarified that these guards would also work under the overall supervision of the Executive Magistrates currently deployed at borders, who in turn report to the Collectors. The Excise department has also procured two emergency lights for each Border post to deal with any interruption of power supply. The SEC asked CE (Electricity) to examine the possibility of providing uninterrupted power supply at border checkposts. Commissioner(Excise) also added that the liquor manufacturers have produced about 2.9 lakh liters of sanitisers.

Collector South-Goa, Shri Ajit Roy, IAS,  raised the problem of time lag between a seafarer testing negative and starting to move to his own State, due to lack of advance tie up for the vehicle. The SEC clarified that the State should wait for the SOP to be issued by DC, Shipping, before freezing the procedure at the State level.

PCE(PWD), Shri U.P Parsekar informed the Salou'i dam production of water has picked up and by tomorrow the production would be normal. Water supply at other places is normal.

Secretary, Civil Supply, Ms Isha Khosla, IAS informed that the supply or groceries is normal from April 27, the distribution of Toor dal and next month's ration would start from PDS shops As approved by the Cabinet, the APL card holders will also gel the subsidized rice of 5 kg per card for two months.

Secretary, Fisheries, Shri P.S. Reddy, IAS sought clarification on the entry of the staff living on barges. The SEC clarified that barges with Indian crew coming from other ports are also covered under the recept relaxation given by the MHA for seafarers.

Committee also conveyed to all concerned that as per MHA orders, an person violating these containment measures or not complying with the above directions will be liable to be proceeded against as per the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, besides legal action u/s 188 of the IRC.