The COVID cases kept rising in the national Capital of India and tourists flocking to Goa from north India due to resumption of Casinos and other tourism activities and that has posed a new challenge before the state Government.
The State Health Minister Vishwajit Rane has decided to impose new SPOs for the tourists travelling from Delhi to Goa via Air, Train, Bus or their own transport.
Ever since the end of October, Delhi, the national capital has seen a huge rise in Covid-19 cases leading to scares over the incoming tourists from there, into Goa. After the cases increasing over 6500 per day in Delhi, Maharashtra has considered halting and restricting the number of flights and trains from there.
Goa is set to follow the footsteps of Maharashtra with its new SOPs. Delhi is on its third wave of infection while Maharashtra is on its second, while Goa continues to report upto only 200 cases per day, with the positivity rate between 7 and 8 percent, despite incoming of tourists in the last two weeks.
The State Health Minister Vishwajit Rane announced that the Health Department is in the process of convening an emergency meeting to tighten the screening procedure for all the incoming trains and flights from Delhi in the tweet he posted
“In view of the rising cases in Delhi, Government of Goa to adopt SOPs of Maharashtra Govt & other state governments for flights and trains coming from Delhi. Secretary Health to have an emergency meeting on protocols for people coming in from the state of Delhi”
“We may not take very harsh steps but we have to see what SOPs are put in place at the airport. We have to see, how we will manage people who will be coming from Delhi. We have to take care of our people also,” he said.
With Diwali just ending, Goa is gearing up for the Christmas-New year crowd. The migrant workers have also started returning to Goa after celebrating Chhat Puja in their states. Rane said Goa will have to put SOPs in place to monitor the migratory workers.
“Now with end of Chath Puja, a large number of migratory workers will start coming. In view of the same, a note has been sent to the Secretary for immediate deliberation on protocols for labourers, SOPs for industries and for the State with regards to testing,” Rane said.
The government is still behaving clueless as to how to deal with the tourists that come into Goa via trains even though they managed to do in the airports. The road traffic is not yet even in question.
Even as SOPs are being put in place, these are for the future tourists who will now enter Goa. What about the tourists who have already entered? Most tourists aren’t following social distancing nor do they wear their masks. The cases have comparatively increased due to transmission from tourists.
The no negative certificate clause may now be backfiring. Panjim was over crowded and casino staff tested positive. If the economy must run, there need to be more stricter checks than just the temperature checks that are very easily to manipulate.
Other states have begun with curfew already but whether Goa will too is to be seen. If they do, what about the tourist activity which has barely kicked off in these two weeks? Is there a way the government can control the infection without causing another economic drop? These are all questions the people have and await to get answered.