After news of ‘rave parties’ and other illegal activities underway amid the coronavirus pandemic broke news across the state, foreigners – mostly Russians – have lately gone unseen from Goa’s coastal belt of North Goa.
Despite several repatriation flights organized by various countries, in association with the Dabolim airport at Goa to take back stranded foreign nationals in the state, many – largely from Russia – have stayed back in Goa.
After the crackdown on a couple of parties – mostly hosted and attended by foreign nationals who stayed back –these tourists now have been unheard of, and not even seen in prominent parts of the Arambol. Around 200 odd tourists reside in the Arambol village area.
Earlier during the initial days of lockdown, many tourists were seen roaming about, many times without even masks. Several social media posts, alerting authorities to act against such defaulters also made rounds across platforms.
“Earlier videos and instances of foreigners roaming about freely, many times without masks were very wide-spread noticed,” said a local resident.
However, after a police raid on a party about two months ago, many have noticed reduced movements among these tourists, those who have opted to stay back in the state.
Russians, which make up the bulk of foreign tourists who arrive in the state, usually through charter flights, beginning from November mostly.
The Arambol-Morjim belt in North Goa is prominent for Russians, including some from Ukraine. These tourists usually visit the state on long-term visas and live within rented premises and house, and not hotels. Two-wheelers are largely rented for long term uses by them.
Also, considering long term stays, most tourists visit local hospitals for any medical requirements. The closest for this stretch is the North Goa District hospital in Mapusa.
Additionally, with a rise in Covid-19 cases across the state, no positive cases have been detected among foreign tourists residing in the state along the Arambol belt.
The government has come down strictly saying illegal activities, including parties will not be tolerated during the pandemic. Further, a zero tolerance for drugs will be allowed in the state, it said.