Is Goa free of COVID-19 cases? The answer seems to vary depending on who is asked.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik who now holds the same office in Goa said on Saturday that the state was free of the novel coronavirus.
"Goa is corona free so domestic tourists will come here. It will take time for foreign tourists to return but they too will come. This is not a long term loss to the industry," he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
However, one does not have to look further than the Ministry of Health and Family welfare's website to get conflicting information. At the time of this article being written, on Saturday afternoon, the site proclaimed that Goa had encountered 54 confirmed cases, of which 16 people had been cured, discharged or had migrated. This would imply that there are 38 active cases in the state.
No deaths have been recorded in connection with COVID-19 in the state, the website adds.
Now, to be fair, a state or area can be declared COVID-19 free if it has not reported any new positive cases in 28 days. While Goa had been declared a COVID-19 free green zone earlier, this cannot be considered the situation at present.
According to a May 14 reportby PTI that quoted Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, Goa had recorded eight new positive cases. At the time however, Sawant had said that there was no possibility of community transmission from these patients since six of these patients, who are from one family, tested positive when they were quarantined upon arrival from Mumbai.
"The truck driver (another patient) who tested positive had not interacted with many people, while the eighth patient is a person who was working on a ship and arrived from Mumbai after being quarantined for 14 days," he had said.
There had bee no transmission within the state as "all these cases are imported" (have come from outside), the chief minister had added.
On May 17 he had taken to Twitter to add that the total number of active cases in the state now stood at 22.
"Goa is the only state in the country which is testing all persons entering the state. Because of such an aggressive approach of our state, we have managed to detect the COVID-19 cases at the entry point itself, with no possibility of community transmission," he had tweeted.
With the current numbers by the Ministry of Health showing that the state has 38 active cases, it is not unfair to assume that the number of positive cases have since increased.