PANJIM: Goa will enter into a 15-day curfew beginning Sunday 9am. Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant on Friday announced the curfew in a bid to break the chain of the spreading Coronavirus infection.
Addressing a virtual press conference, Sawant said that during the curfew period, shops selling grocery and other essentials would remain open from 9am to 1pm daily. Also, hotel kitchens will be open for takeaway food only from 7am to 7pm during the curfew period.
However, there would not be restrictions on medical stores and other medical facilities. A detailed order will follow by both the District Magistrates by Saturday 4pm, he said.
Sawant said that the State-level curfew would be stricter than the lockdown. “I wish to tell everyone that the order of ‘State-level curfew’ shall be enforced in a very strict manner as compared to all previous restrictions/lockdown orders. Law and order machinery has been duly instructed for the same,’ he said.
Sawant said the decision of imposing curfew was taken as people were unnecessarily stepping out of their homes and were not obeying restrictions which were already in force.
The Chief Minister said all events, including marriages, would have to be cancelled during the curfew period as large gatherings were contributing to the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Earlier, the government had imposed a lockdown from April 29 to May 3 and later lifted the lockdown and imposed strict restrictions for a period of eight days.
Tourists arriving in Goa will have to produce RT-PCR negative certificate or proof of vaccination will be compulsory for them, Sawant said.
The Chief Minister rued that even after COVID-19 restrictions, people are moving out. On an average hardly 25 per cent people have to actually move out of their homes and others need not, he said. People aged 60 years and above and those below 25 years can stay at home but they too are unnecessarily moving out in large numbers. “That is why police had to wield their batons against them for breaking the imposed restrictions,” Sawant said.
Sawant appealed to the people not to move out of their residences and cautioned that the second wave of Coronavirus is more dangerous and it is affecting youth.
The Chief Minister said that if people had followed the strict restrictions than Goa’s positivity rate would have not touched an alarming 51 per cent. Instead of blaming the government, people should also own responsibility and behave accordingly to stop transmission and contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
To a question, the Chief Minister claimed that the government has adequate medical oxygen while, additional five metric tonnes of oxygen have been allotted by the government of India and all oxygen plants in the State have also been activated, he said.
Sawant also said that the step-up hospitals will start functioning at different places from Saturday.