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How Mangor Hill became the new epicentre of Coronavirus in Goa

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Mangor Hill Goa
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Mangor Hill, situated in the port city of Vasco da Gama at the south district is a densely populated locality with most of the working class people staying in this area and a majority of them are migrants. The first case of a family of five along with their doctor testing positive brought the locality onto the radar of the COVID-19 task force and without any delay, it was declared as the First containment zone of Goa. 

The story begins from the time when Goa was declared as a green zone with no visible cases of coronavirus in the state. The state decided to relax the norms at the Goa borders making the entry and exit of interstate vehicles easier and from here the new journey of coronavirus cases began.

According to the reports, the first lot of cases appeared in Goa post the 4th Lockdown implementation and were cases that travelled from the neighbouring states of which most were from Maharashtra that turned Goa from the green zone to back into the Orange Zone, and after which it never stopped as the cases kept rising as more and more people started entering that of the seven cases that appeared the first, post 4th lockdown was the Goan residents who had travelled to Solapur, Maharastra before the lockdown on 24th March.

Goa Border Sealed
The relaxation on Goa Border had brought new COVID-19 cases in Goa

“Out of the seven patients undergoing treatment at the dedicated COVID-19 facility in South Goa reported on Tuesday consists of the five members of one family, returned to Goa from Maharashtras Solapur district,” stated the report.

Although cases kept rising in the state there was no community transmission as most of the cases had travelled to Goa from the neighbouring states and that did not pose any serious threat but the case that came up in the Mangor Hill was unique and a part of community transmission (though our ministers keep calling it as local transmission) as the five members of the family along with their doctor tested positive for the COVID-19 with no travel history.

The news of a family of five including their doctor testing positive at Mangor Hill appeared in the media on 2nd June sending a surge of shock across the state as this was being the first case wherein all the members of a single family with no travel history tested positive for the COVID-19 and that did not stop there as even their doctor tested positive for the coronavirus.

The family of five tested positive at Mangor Hill
The family of five tests positive at Mangor Hill started the new episode of COVID cases in Goa

Goa had already learnt a lesson from its mistake in the past by providing a lot of relaxation on the state borders and it did not want to repeat the same mistakes once again during the Unlock down process and hence the state Government had decided to not allow the interstate transport during the un-lockdown 1.0.

According to the reports, the state government denied the entry of Interstate vehicles into the state during the implementation of Un-Lockdown 1.0. The Chief Minister of Goa Mr Pramod Sawant told the media that some more relaxations may be announced in the evening. The state has kept the outbreak of virus under control very effectively and all the cases are now of the people who have travelled into the state from other the other places,” said Mr Sawant adding that presently state has only 27 active cases.   

The statement made by the CM made it clear that till this time there was no community or local transmission in the state and all the cases that were detected positive entered into Goa from the neighbouring states. They tested positive after arriving here. There is no community transmission of the virus in Goa,” he added.

But the scenario completely changed when the case of the family of five and their doctor testing positive surfaced at Mangor Hill in the south Goa. This was the perhaps the first known local community transmission of the virus that spread from a one family member to the rest of family members and subsequently to the doctor who tested them.

Mongor Hill Containment Zone of Goa
Mangor Hill was turned into the First Containment Zone of Goa

According to the reports, the health minister Mr Vishwajit Rane called it a probable case of community transmission. Five members of a family from the fishing community and their doctor tested positive for coronavirus. This looks like a case of local transmission within the area,” he added.

According to Mr Rane, the spread of virus began from one of the family members who came in contact with the truck driver from Andhra Pradesh when he went to buy the fish and subsequently he unknowingly spread the virus to others, including his own family and the doctor he had visited.

Following the news of the first local community transmission of the Coronavirus, the entire area of Mangor Hill was sealed and converted into Goa’s first Containment zone. According to the health secretary Ms Nila Mohanan, the decision of converting Mangor Hill into the containment zone has been taken due to its densely populated area.

Because Mangor Hills is a very tightly packed area we have taken a decision to declare Mangor Hill in Vasco as a containment zone. We will ensure that we do comprehensive testing of the residents of Mangor Hill and we want to ensure that we do that very comprehensively putting in all our efforts that is why we have decided to declare Mangor Hill in Vasco as a containment zone,” Mohanan added.

The new journey of coronavirus started from here and within no time the cases of COVID-19 kept rising and needless to say that most of them came from the densely populated Mangor Hill area.

Mangor Hill Goa
Mangor Hill Residents came out on the road due to lack of facilities

Things did not stop here since many people from Mangor Hill workaround in the Vasco city and other places and the possibility of community spread increased tremendously, in fact within one week time another case appeared in the Sanguem taluka, a medical staff working in the Vasco Health Centre who is the resident of Sanguem was found positive for COVID-19 and he was travelling daily from Vasco to Sanguem being unaware of carrying the deadly virus.

According to the reports, the infected person who works at the Health Centre is situated in Vasco and had visited the Mangor Hill area but at that time the cases were not surfaced in that area. This means he was also infected with the COVID-19 unknowingly and was carrying the virus with him every day until he was tested positive.

There are also some shocking revelations about the infected person came up from the sources staying in the locality that a day before his results came he was spotted moving freely in the locality and he also went to do the shopping at the Goa Bagayatdar departmental store while he was supposed to remain inside the house quarantined after the samples of his throat swabs were sent to the lab for testing.

The densely populated location of Mangor Hill became the cause of the rapid spread of the virus within the locality. According to the reports, the numbers shot from mere 47 cases to 300 positive cases in the state and most of them were from Mangor Hill.

COVID Hospital in Margao Goa
Goas first COVID Hospital situated in Margao with a 200-bed capacity

According to the health secretary, most of the cases were asymptotic and due to the lack of the facilities at Margao based ESI hospital government decided to set up the separate facility for the asymptomatic patients at the Shiroda Health Centre.     

As per Ministry of Health Affairs (MHA) guidelines, a COVID care facility has been set up at Shirodas primary health centre where asymptomatic patients would be admitted, while ESI Hospital in Margo would treat symptomatic ones,” she said.

According to the latest development Mangor Hill has been declared as the Epicentre of the decease with maximum cases coming from that area. According to the reports, 22 out of the 29 cases that were reported on 9th June are linked to the Mangor Hill area and six of them are the health care workers operating in the area.

Presently, Mangor Hill is treated as the epicentre of the disease and people from various parts of Goa who work in the various medical-related services operational at Mangor Hill possess the risk of the spread of Coronavirus to the other parts of Goa and the only solution of this is to seal the entire Vasco town. What are your views on this News Story? 

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