Goa on Wednesday reported a record 40 new coronavirus cases in South Goa’s Mangor hill area, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said, adding that a decision on further lockdown relaxations would depend on whether transmission has spread out of the cluster or not.

Mangor hill area is being designated as the first ‘containment zone’ of the state after 40 positive cases were reported there. COVID-19 tests were being carried out on a war footing. While access to the area which houses around 2,000 persons, has been cut off by the authorities.

The state government also may be considering to delay the reopening of places of worship in Goa in view of a spike in coronavirus cases designated as a ‘containment zone’ after these fresh positive cases.

Speaking to reporters the CM said, “Currently, it is a local transmission, but if the transmission spills outside the Mangor hill area, the government will take a decision keeping this factor into account.”

Sawant said that the state had also not taken a decision on reopening of educational institutions for the new academic session.

The case count, the biggest spike yet on a single day, takes the total active cases of COVID-19 in the coastal state to 62.

The first corona cases in the Mangor hill area were detected on Monday, when several members of a family tested positive.

Sawant claimed that the family was not coming clean on how they could have been infected.

“The family is trying to hide something. We suspect a couple of reasons why the transmission occurred there. Either somebody from outside came in contact with them or one from their family returned from outside the state,” Sawant said.

The Chief Minister denied community transmission in Goa, saying that infection spread was local at present. Nearly 2,000 persons live in the Mangor hill area.

“There is local transmission in one area, so we have converted it into a containment zone. We are trying to get in touch with persons whom residents of the containment zone may have met. Our next strategy depends on the test results of these contacts,” said CM Sawant.