Around 11 coronavirus positive cases were detected at an industrial company at the Verna Industrial Estate, prompting the South Goa Collector Ajit Roy to order its closure for 14 days. All the staff and employees of the company – CommScope India Pvt Ltd – are mandated to undergo compulsory 14 days home quarantine.
The order, issued under invoking provisions under the Disaster Management Act says, “To contain the spread of the virus among other employees, it is expedient to order the closure of the industrial unit for 14 days.”
This news comes just days after another industrial unit – Tulip Diagnostics – was at the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak at the Verna area.
With 400 units and over 40,000 employees, the industrial estate at Verna has turned out to be a serious concern for health officials who are trying to contain the spread of the virus from here.
The initial outbreak has found a network of the infection spread to have begun with employees who come from high risk areas of Zuarinagar, Chichalim and other areas of the Mormagao taluka.
Contact tracing further brought to light that the virus had already spread to areas such as Nuvem, Lotoulim and Rassaim.
Tulip Diagnostics was also sealed by the district administration for two weeks, however, by then the cases were already reported across the state, having links to the industrial unit.
Despite many claiming that the transmission chain could have been well contained had all the units at the industrial estate followed the SOPs, the industry association believes that proactive steps were taken to contain and manage the spread of Covid-19 through the industries.
Upon detection of cases, the health authorities set up dedicated kiosks within the industrial estate itself to enable employees to get their swabs collected.
The Verna Industries Association has requested the government’s health department to have a special testing laboratory within the industrial area itself.
This, in turn, will ease the burden on the new District Hospital at Margao which already is under load to deliver test results.
Further south, Cuncolim Industrial Estate is also being closely monitored, after multiple cases were reported from certain units within the industrial area.
The district administration has closed down several units, latest being Shridi Steels at the Cuncolim area. Several concerns were raised as many residential areas are in close proximity of the industrial estate.