Amidst the second wave of Covid-19 and the rising cases in the state, the Goa government has announced a lockdown from tomorrow. Goa CM Pramod Sawant said that the lockdown in the state will start from 29th April at 7 pm to the morning of 3rd May. Speaking to reporters, the CM said essential services and industries will be exempted from the purview of the lockdown but public transport will not be allowed.
“The lockdown will come into force on Thursday evening and remain effective till Monday morning to break the chain of the coronavirus transmission,” he said.
“Weekly markets will not be allowed during the lockdown. Casinos will also remain shut. However, industrial services will be allowed to function,” the chief minister said. Mr Sawant said that casual laborers need not worry as the lockdown will be lifted on Monday morning and business activities resume.
“Essential services including grocery shops will remain open throughout the day and there will no need for panic buying or hoarding of groceries ”, Sawant said. Restaurant kitchens have been allowed to remain open and food deliveries can also take place.
Industries will be allowed to operate within their premises and will have to arrange for transport facilities for their staff. Government offices with limited staff will be open. Healthcare and emergency services will remain uninterrupted.
Tourists coming into Goa over the course of the four days will be allowed to stay in their hotels but not venture out and the same will be applied to the units doing the shooting in the state.
Due to the lockdown in Maharashtra, many films and television serials are being shot in Goa but during the lockdown they will not be allowed to move out of their hotels, stated the sources.
Entry of vehicles coming into the state from neighboring states has not been curbed. While bars and restaurants were allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity so far, during the four days of the lockdown they will have to remain closed.
The Goa government had already appealed to people not to host large events in the state. The chief minister, however, said on Wednesday that weddings and religious functions scheduled over the period of the lockdown can be held with no more than 50 persons in attendance.
Meanwhile, Calangute, Candolim, and Arpora-Nagoan village panchayat were declared as a containment zone for the next 10 days. “It will come in force from tomorrow. Only essential services will be open from 6 am to 1 pm. After that, all the shops and movement will be closed in these areas. Strict action will be taken on violators “ said Minister Michael Lobo.
The chief minister also appealed to people to take necessary precautions against coronavirus and take medicines in case of COVID-19 symptoms. Mr Sawant said as per the modified COVID-19 treatment protocol, medicines are offered to people at the time of testing instead of waiting for results.
Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Girish Chodankar said that the COVID-19 situation in the state worsening day by day and hospitals are working beyond their capacity.
The state is currently reeling under a testing backlog with test reports taking four to five days. With added facilities and outsourcing to a private laboratory, the backlog is expected to drop and Sawant said that in the next couple of days, test reports may be available on an alternate day from testing.
The state has also added beds to its hospitals in both public and private hospitals requisitioned two stadia for Covid Care Centres and roped in hotels for offering paid quarantine services. While the demand for oxygen had spiked in April, Sawant said the state was not experiencing a shortage of either oxygen or Remdesivir.
As many as 2,110 persons tested positive for coronavirus, while 31 died of the infection in Goa on Tuesday. The latest cases and casualties have raised the tally of infections to 81,908 and toll to 1,086.