5 fire fighters test positive for COVID

Panjim: Five fire fighters are the new addition amongst the frontline warriors for having tested positive for COVID-19. The first case was detected on July 3 while four positive cases were detected on Monday.

The cases surface against the backdrop of policemen getting infected with the virus.

A fire official informed that the first case was that of a staff from Pernem, who reported to duty at his posting at the Headquarters, St Inez, on June 30.

“The staffer was relieved on July 1 and was on his weekly off the following day. On July 3, when he developed mild symptoms, he got himself tested and the report came positive,” the official informed Herald.

The personnel, reportedly, had not been on sanitisation drive for past few days, indicating the transmission of virus could be through other means.

Soon thereafter, nearly 55 officials including field personnel were sent for testing at Goa Medical College and Hospital, Bambolim and Azilo Hospital on Saturday.

The reports confirmed three more positive cases. The official added that testing of more staff is underway at various testing centres.

The fifth case is that of a staffer posted at Kundaim Fire Station. It is reportedly learnt that he may have come in contact with COVID-19 infected policeman, posted at the police outpost in the same premises.

“One police constable was recently found COVID-19 positive and since fire station and the police outpost are operating from the same premises, the fire staffer voluntarily got himself tested. The report came positive,” he said.

The fire personnel have been actively carrying out their duties amidst COVID-19 crisis. Besides Fire and Emergency Services, the fire fighters are largely involved in sanitisation of several places where COVID-19 cases are reported.

Police force too remains vulnerably exposed to the rising cases as they have been guarding containment zones, enforcing the lockdown, home quarantine, besides maintaining law and order amidst the pandemic.

Around 45 police personnel including police inspector have so far been found positive for COVID-19 of whom 36 are active cases and nine have recovered. The South District has been majorly affected with 32 cases followed by five IRB personnel, three from Special Branch, one each from ATS, North District and Anti-Corruption Branch. Two cases were reported in State Crime Records Bureau.

The fire personnel recently sanitised police headquarter following two COVID-19 cases after which Secretariat was sanitised where one IRB personnel was found positive, followed by Ministerial Block. On Monday, the Assembly complex was sanitised besides other places in Goa. “It is a continuous process,” official said. [H]