This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

An Overview of the Catastrophic Second Wave in Goa

More from IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute

This post is a part of YKA’s dedicated coverage of the novel coronavirus outbreak and aims to present factual, reliable information. Read more.

The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has deeply affected Indian states and Union Territories and Goa has been no exception. Due to issues like lack of infrastructure and human resources, both rural and urban people were caged in the web of grief and misery wherein even to see one’s loved one last time who succumbed to Coronavirus became an act of privilege.

Goa Panelists 2

Focusing on the Rural Realities around the country during the pandemic, the Centre for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS) and IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi organized a Panel Discussion on “Rural Realities | Goa Practitioners’ Experiences in Tackling the Second Wave in Indian Villages” on May 28, 2021.

This article is an excerpt of the presentation given by Mahima Kapoor and the IMPRI team which provided an overview of the COVID-19 situation in India with special reference to Goa to set the context for the broader discussion on the topic by the esteemed panelists.

About Goa

Goa is a state on the south-western coast of India, known as Konkan. Shares borders with the State of Maharashtra and Karnataka. Arabia Sea forms its western coast. It is India’s smallest state and fourth smallest by population, which is 14.59 lakhs according to the 2011 census, with 739140 Males and 719405 Females. The growth of 14.8 percent, from 1991 to 2000, is lower than the 16.08 percent recorded during 1981 to 1990.

The density of population per sq km in Goa is 364 in 2001 as compared to 316 in 1991. North Goa has a much higher density (437) as compared to South Goa (300). The national figure is 324. Around 0.15 to 0.2 million of the total population of 13,43,998 are immigrants from around India who have settled down in Goa.

Source: IMPRI #WebPolicyTalk

The population is divided into two districts North and South Goa. North Goa is divided into three sub-divisions and South Goa into five. The official language of the State is Konkani. Goa is a multi-lingual state, thanks to its diverse history of thousands of years, which has seen people of various regions, ethnic races, and religions from India and abroad coming over to and settling in Goa while influencing the local language.

It is a tourist hot-spot for its myriad attractions like flora-fauna, beaches, history, Portuguese architecture, etc. The major rivers flowing through the state are Mandovi, Zuari, Terekhol, Chapora, and Betul. The other major rivers include the Tiracol, Chapora, Sal, and the Talpona. The state has a total forest cover of more than 1,424 sq. km covering almost one-third of the total area. The land is also rich in minerals and ores making mining a prominent industry. Iron Ore mining was banned three years ago due to environmental and health hazards.

Source: IMPRI #WebPolicyTalk

Goa leads in per capita income and ranks 7th in Sustainable Development Goals. The State fairs better that national average both in sex ratio and literacy rate. It houses 38 percent of the population in rural areas which is half of the national average. Goa is expected to witness a severe slowdown in its economy due to COVID-19 impacting tourism and entertainment industry.

COVID-19 Second Wave

In the first wave of the pandemic, the state was relatively well placed. The new cases hit the peak at 740 cases on 12 September 2020. Within one month the positivity rate has increased from 0.24 percent to 0.36 percent.

Source: IMPRI #WebPolicyTalk

The second wave shows the number of cases to be higher, with the recovery rate falling to 72 percent, one of the poorest. The positivity rate has dropped from 42 percent to 33 percent. The state epidemiologist has said that Goa has crossed the peak of the second wave of Covid-19. The epidemiologist added that there’s no place for complacency till cases dip below 200 a day.

Source: IMPRI #WebPolicyTalk

The major proportion of these issues can be attributed too lax by the state. The curfew has been extended to May. So far only 33 percent have received the first dose and 6 percent have been fully vaccinated. Goa is one of the three states with the least wastage of vaccine doses.

The state government has started ‘TikaUtsav’ (vaccination festival) in all panchayats and municipalities. CM Pramod Sawant has announced that vaccination for the 18-45 age group in the future will have on spot direct registration with priority given for lactating mothers and patients with comorbid conditions.

image 22
Source: IMPRI #WebPolicyTalk

Counting The Dead

The fatality rate during the second wave rose up to 1.7 percent. These are worrisome statistics, simply because during the first wave fatality had remained low in the State. Estimates show that the state lost approximately 3000 people to COVID 19 in the second wave.

As of 24 May 2021, the COVID-19 tally in Goa reached 1,47,861 with the addition of 1,401 cases, while the day also saw 38 people succumbing to the infection and 2,362 recovering. The state’s death toll stands at 2,421 and the number of people discharged so far is 1,29,162, leaving it with an active caseload of 16,278.

Emerging Issues

There is a pertinent set of emerging issues faced by the state.  The number of hospitals and medical staff had shot up, but there was pressure on ICU beds and testing kits. Vaccination of people in the 18-44 age groups has been suspended due to non-availability.

Source: IMPRI #WebPolicyTalk

Between 11 and 16 May, 75 died at Goa Medical College and Hospital due to dropping oxygen levels. Goa Deputy CM launched the ‘Oxygen on Wheels’ service for COVID-19 patients. Amid this Bombay High Court has asked the Centre how it was determining the state’s oxygen quota.

In terms of health infrastructure and manpower, the state decided to give Ivermectin drug to all people above 18 years in Goa, irrespective of their coronavirus status to bring down mortality. The state government also decided to take over the rights to admission in all the 21 private hospitals, for a period of one month.

Way Forward

Shortage of hospital and oxygen has not been reported with the same severity as most other states in India. The state will take time to recover from the economic setback where the key challenge will remain on reviving the tourism sector.

In order to minimize the impact of second-wave and prepare for a third wave, issues of lack of oxygen, health infrastructure, and vaccination, which has also added to the financial burden on most rural as well as urban households, need to be addressed in moving towards healthy and prosperous Goa.


YouTube Video for Practitioners’ Experiences in Tackling the Second Wave in Goa

Ritika Gupta, Sakshi Sharda, Ishika Chaudhary, Mahima Kapoor, Swati Solanki, Chhavi Kapoor, Arjun Kumar, and IMPRI Team

Featured image is for representational purposes only.


You must be to comment.

More from IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute

Similar Posts

By Deepak kumar Pandey

By Roki Kumar

By Rushil Saini

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below