Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday criticised the new SOPs set by the Maharashtra government, claiming that subjecting symptomatic Covid-19 patients to antigen tests was pointless.

Speaking to reporters at the State Secretariat, following a video conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Chief Ministers of all states, Sawant also said that the conference had been organised to review the Covid situation in all states, as well as to discuss the modalities of creating a nationwide distribution network for the Covid-19 mass vaccination programme.

"The Maharashtra SOPs say that even if the person is symptomatic, the person will be subjected to an antigen test. How can that work? If a person is symptomatic, the person will have to undergo an RT-PCR test. Only then can a person be successfully segregated or else it will be of no use," Sawant told reporters.

On Monday, the Maharashtra government made testing mandatory for all persons travelling to the state from Delhi, Gujarat, Goa and Rajasthan in wake of a surge in Covid-19 cases.

Informing journalists about the Prime Minister`s video conference, Sawant said that Modi briefed all Chief Ministers about the Covid-19 scenario in the country, especially in view of the rising cases in Maharashtra, Delhi, Kerala and West Bengal.

"Cases are increasing in these states. Discussions were held on how this can be controlled," he said.

Sawant also said that the Prime Minister briefed the chief ministers about creating the required infrastructure and readiness for the upcoming Covid-19 mass vaccination programme.

"We discussed preliminary readiness for the vaccine (drive). Cold chain system will have to be maintained. The vaccine will be administered in two doses, second one being after four weeks," Sawant said.

"Priority will be given to the health workers and Covid warriors, followed by those who are aged 65 years in comorbid conditions... This could happen well after January. We also had a discussion on the distribution efforts to ensure vaccine reaches everywhere," Sawant said.

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