30 Jun 2020  |   04:37am IST

Letters to the editor (30 June 2020)

Letters to the editor (30 June 2020)

Lockdown in Zuarinagar

The news ‘Goa seeks highest single-day spike of 89 cases’ (Herald, 28 June) was very disturbing as far as Zuarinagar is concerned, where 24 cases of Covid-19 are said to be reported. 

Time again it was pointed out that Zuarinagar is another Dharavi of Goa. Even Dr. Oscar Rebello has mentioned this in his article ‘Covid the great equaliser’ (Herald, 26 June). Besides the panchayat of Sancoale was wise enough to declare the area from Housing Board to MES College a containment Zone, because it is adjoining to Zuarinagar whereas the authorities did not realise the seriousness of the Zuarinagar issue. Hence today we have 24 cases in Zuarinagar. 

This place is contiguous to Velsao, Cansaulim and Consua, thus they are eminent threat of getting infected. It is high time that the authorities realise the seriousness of the situation and take appropriate action before it is too late.   

Antonio F. Fernandes, Arossim

Steps for effective social distancing

As the number of COVID-19 cases in Goa is rising exponentially, it is imperative that wearing of masks and observing social distancing is enforced effectively. However, the rule of opening of shops on alternate days, by rotation, in some markets and/or reducing the timings of the shops, leads to overcrowding of markets, shops, etc., making social distancing difficult, as it happened during the initial days of the lockdown, in March.

The better alternative would be to allow shops to open on all weekdays and take measures to reduce the number of persons in the markets, roads etc. This can easily be achieved by adopting the “even/odd system” for all vehicles, four/three/two wheelers etc. (except those with valid travel/employment passes or emergency cases). For example, vehicles with registration ending in even numbers could be allowed on the roads on three designated alternate days of the week, while vehicles with registration ending with odd numbers, could be permitted on the remaining three days, with no restrictions on Sundays. This could be implemented all over Goa for a period of at least one month and extended further if necessary. 

The above system will not only reduce the number of people on the roads, in the markets, banks, government offices etc. by almost 50% but will also result in shorter queues outside these places, thus making it easier to observe social distancing everywhere. Furthermore, the authorities like police, RTO, etc. will be able to implement this more effectively by just keeping an eye on the number plates of the vehicles on the road.

Angelo Alvares, Margao

Covid-19 test for Old-Age Homes inmates

It is observed that in the unfortunate deaths that occurred in the state due to Covid-19, the victims have been either elderly persons or senior citizens with or without comorbidities. This goes to prove that the infection can prove fatal in older people with or without morbidities as the recovery rate is less. However there have been rare incidents elsewhere in the country of those in their eighties and nineties having recovered from the disease. 

Be that as it may, it seems absolutely necessary for the elderly people to exercise utmost precaution so that they do not get infected by the deadly virus. It is pertinent to note that there are several elderly citizens living in old-age homes in the state. Due to reduced immunity these older people can fall prey to the infection. Hence it becomes prudent for the health officials to test all the inmates of all old-age homes in the state as well as the staff working there for the coronavirus. 

Even (God forbid) a single positive case in such old-age homes could spell disaster. Entry to such premises should be restricted only to the staff and visitors should not be allowed till the spread of the virus subsides. Every old-age home needs to be equipped with a thermal gun so that the temperature of the inmates and staff can be recorded regularly.

Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco    

Why the big tamasha?

Why the big fuss by the good denizens of Ponda? Complaining that COVID-19 patients, presumably dead ones, are being brought to Ponda for cremation.

Ther Chief Minister only admits to COVID-19 deaths in the whole of Goa, and so, if two were cremated in Ponda, it would hardly place a great strain on the local infrastructure. Besides, disposal of the mortal remains of COVID-19 victims, whether by interment or cremation, poses no risk to public health, whatsoever.

Stephen Myall, UK

Mass promotions & home schooling?

The decision to promote students from Std 9th to Std 10th and from Std 11th to Std 12th, goes to show that our education system lacks the quality of competition and is slowly degenerating. Gone are the days of challenge and excellence that come from elocution, as well as memories of being part of an Alma mater, where innocents minds are transformed

into strong adults, who go on to become responsible individuals that spear head decisions on a global platform in a competitive career standing tall from education, compared with lazy students only looking for dependency from copying in class or buying fake certificates. 

Education is the primary requirement for any individual even the ones labelled as prodigies, nothing can be achieved without hard work, and hours and hours of repetitive studying, there are no miracles in life, life itself is a miracle, furthermore all that an individual has gone on to achieve is because of sincerity to aim for the stars. 

A school campus also has the area of fun where puppy love, fights among friends and other areas of social mixing makes certain individuals stronger, the other option would be home schooling. Our educators and the faculty should set up a committee, to best decide what is good for our children and they should be powered with the authority to vote on what is needed for the children, a good education or a worthless one and politicians should be kept out of this system. 

Global education is entrusted in the hands of brilliant minds not lazy politicians who push files for a sack of money. What would happen without money would life seize to exist. Haven't we learnt enough from the pandemic or has the message from the lock down washed away this experience with the first onslaught of the torrential rains.

Noel Desouza, Arpora

Malware in Chinese products

Power Minister disclosed that all power equipment supplied by China will be checked for malware given that Electricity runs all critical industries, communication, databases that may be sabotaged by countries who are India’s adversaries! Massive intelligence failure, don’t you think BJP? And how will you ensure the same? Given that Power Plants take 4 to 5 years for completion how will you ensure full proof checks?

The local BJP made a lot of ‘noise’- one of their many hallmarks- calling to ban Chinese products. Now they cannot hide the same as being restricted to fireworks and ‘cheap toys’!

India has many reputed power equipment manufacturing units including PSU’s like BHEL: how come they could not ‘make in India’? We know how the BJP is selling off all such reputed PSUs, sidelining HAL, selling off LIC, to their favourites. So, were they reducing the share prices by refusing them such orders? Or India cannot compete with cheap Chinese products? Should they not re-think ‘ego booster’ like Mars Mission and concentrate on ABC’s? And of course pandemics: imagine asking citizens to pay for testing for a disease that they had no role in bringing in to India.

R Fernandes, Margao


Iddhar Udhar