Panaji, July 22 In the wake of rising COVID-19 cases in Goa, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday said that the state government is ready to allow home isolation for Covid-positive asymptomatic patients, adding that the decision has been delayed due to the Opposition's criticism about the move.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting of the state cabinet, Sawant also said that one in every 15 persons in Goa had already been tested, as part of the state's efforts to maximise testing to identify and treat coronavirus patients.
"Several states in the country have allowed home isolation for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients. We have also decided to do the same. Any person willing to be home quarantined, should seek permission from the local Deputy Collector's office," Sawant told reporters.
The Chief Minister also said that those who had homes which facilitated isolation or families who had collectively tested positive would be given permission for home quarantine.
The decision comes at a time when videos of mismanagement and chaos at state government-run Covid care centres have gone viral attracting criticism from the Opposition.
Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat had also written to the Governor Satya Pal Malik criticising the government for poor treatment at these centres.
Sawant said, that the government had delayed the decision to permit home quarantine of asymptomatic patients, for fear of criticism of his administration.
"People would have been ready to criticise the decision, saying now positive patients are now being asked to stay home (and not admitted to government facilities)," Sawant said.
The Chief Minister also said that so far 1.11 lakh persons had been tested in Goa, which has a population of nearly 1.5 million, which effectively means that one in 15 persons had been tested in the state.
Sawant also said that the state government had not taken any decision related to resumption of schools for the current academic year.
( With inputs from IANS )