As many as 40 people from a COVID-19 containment zone in Goa tested positive for the disease on Wednesday, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said.
"Local transmission" of the virus has happened due to the fault of one family residing in the locality, he said. With this, the number of active COVID-19 cases in the state has reached 65, the chief minister said.
The family members consulted a private medical practitioner after developing COVID-19 symptoms, he said. "They should have gone to a coronavirus testing centre, the chief minister said.
The state government on Monday declared Mangor Hill area of Vasco town in South Goa district as a containment zone after six members of a family tested positive for coronavirus.
On Tuesday, 200 samples were collected from the area and results of 40 of them came out positive on Wednesday, the chief minister said. Those who came in contact with the infected persons are also being tested, he said.
There are some 2,000 people living in the locality and they will be tested in a phased manner, he said. The entire area has been cordoned off and no one is allowed to move out of it, he said.
The Congress said The outbreak in the containment zone should not be taken lightly and the entire town should be sealed.
State Congress spokesman Trajano D'Mello said, "The chief minister is in denial, that it is not a community transmission but only a local transmission. Such a statement from the chief minister when the link of contact history is not yet established is confusing and therefore, things cannot be taken lightly."
DMello claimed some reports suggested that one of the COVID-19 patients from Mangor Hill area is in fish fertiliser business and he recently came in contact with fish trucks bringing consignments from Karnataka.
His contacts have not yet been established. In such a situation, the staff working at the state border for last so many days on different shifts will have to be screened and immediately put under home quarantine till the tests with results are completed, he said.
DMello said most people from Mangor Hill area are workers/labourers who go around anywhere for work. Therefore as a stringent precautionary measure, it is suggested that the entire Vasco town be sealed, he said.
Till Tuesday, 57 COVID-19 patients in the state were discharged after recovery, as per official figures. The state has not reported any death due to the disease so far.