Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane on Wednesday, flip-flopped while announcing Goa’s first confirmed case of Coronavirus but in just a few minutes said that his ministry was the victim of a mischievous hoax call and the news is not yet confirmed.
“It was hoax news. People should not be doing such a hoax. People should not be doing this. Calling the hospital and saying the call is from a notified lab (is wrong). The final report is not yet come. We are waiting for the report,” Rane told reporters.
He further added, “We are trying to locate the number, of the person who tried to create panic in Goa.”
Earlier, minutes ago Rane had told reporters that a Norwegian national, with a history of travel to Delhi, Agra, Assam and Meghalaya was the first confirmed coronavirus case reported in Goa.
He had said, that the Norwegian national, who has been suffering from fever and cough, was in the process of being shifted to the isolation ward at the Goa Medical College.
“The Norwegian patient reached India on February 6 and then to Delhi, Assam, Agra and Meghalaya before coming to Goa February 20. He had fever with cough from March 10. We will be putting him in isolation ward and all the necessary measures under the guidelines are being taken,” Rane told reporters on Wednesday.
“Goa government is taking all precautions that is required under the protocol,” the Health Minister said.
Goa is a very popular tourist destination and attracts thousands of Indian as well as foreign tourists every year.
Rane added, the state government was mulling a lockdown of its road-borders connecting Maharashtra and Karnataka to prevent tourists from visiting the coastal state.
“Parallely, the government is also issuing directives and moved a file for lockdown. Not to allow tourists to enter Goa from neighbouring Maharashtra and Karnataka,” Rane said, adding that a lab to test coronavirus samples was being set up in Goa. Currently, COVID-19 samples of suspect coronavirus patients are sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune for testing.
On Sunday, the Goa government had already ordered a partial lockdown of the state’s public spaces.
Earlier, on March 16 he tweeted, “Even though there are currently no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Goa, 108 Ambulance is taking a proactive approach to the threat. Special Ambulances equipped with trained staff will be kept prepared to transfer suspected cases to isolation facilities.”
Even though there are currently no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Goa, 108 Ambulance is taking a proactive approach to the threat.
Special Ambulances equipped with trained staff will be kept prepared to transfer suspected cases to isolation facilities. pic.twitter.com/4iI6bMS3c6
— VishwajitRane (@visrane) March 16, 2020
The Coronavirus cases in India rose to 147 on Wednesday, a day after the country reported its third death due to COVID-19. The global toll has crossed 7,500, with nearly 200,000 people infected. China continues to lead the pack with 82,000 cases, followed by Italy at 27,980 and Iran at 16,169 cases.
The 147 cases in the country include 25 foreign nationals and the three persons who died in Delhi, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Over 5,700 people, who had come in contact with these positive cases, are under surveillance, the Ministry said.
Goa’s neighbour Maharashtra has the highest number of cases which has crossed 40.