Now, ministers to take charge of talukas to arrest COVID spread


Panaji: The state’s cabinet ministers will now be in charge of ensuring stringent implementation of the guidelines laid down by the government to arrest the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

Addressing the media through a web conference on Sunday, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said he held a meeting with the ministers, delegating them the responsibility of ensuring that the guidelines related to social distancing and other prevention measures are strictly followed by people.

He said each minister will be in charge of certain talukas and they will hold meetings with senior officials, review and monitor the COVID-19 situation at the taluka level.

Accordingly, Sawant has taken the responsibility of the Bicholim taluka. He will also be in charge of Tiswadi taluka along with Revenue Minister Jennifer Monserrate. Deputy Chief Minister Chandrakant ‘Babu’ Kavlekar has been given the responsibility of Canacona taluka. He will also hold responsibility of Salcete taluka along with Water Resources Minister Filipe Nerry Rodrigues.

Health Minister Vishwajit Rane has been entrusted the responsibility of Sattari taluka. He will also hold meetings along with Deputy Chief Minister Manohar ‘Babu’ Ajgaonkar in Pernem taluka. Besides, the Health Minister has been also given the responsibility of Ponda taluka along with Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude.

Power Minister Nilesh Cabral has been made in-charge of the Sanguem and Quepem talukas. He will also hold meetings in Dharbandora taluka along with PWD Minister Deepak Pauskar. Ports Minister Michael Lobo has been given the responsibility of Bardez taluka. Panchayat Minister Mauvin Godinho and Urban Development Minister Milind Naik will be in charge of the

Mormugao taluka.

Speaking further, Sawant said law enforcement related to the control of COVID-19 in the state will be made stringent from Monday. He said a special meet will be held on Monday to review the situation at Mangor-Hill and also to work out a further plan to take measures in the containment zone in that locality.

“Despite seven deaths and a rise in the number of cases, I have noticed that people are violating norms of social distancing and don’t wear mask. I appeal to the people not to take things lightly,” Sawant said and added that the state government will distribute the homoeopathic immunity booster to all the people in a

phased manner.

The Chief Minister said the current capacity of 1,000 beds in various COVID care centres will be increased by another 500 beds. “Families will be allowed to provide food to the COVID patients in the COVID care centres,” he said adding that the family members can deliver food at the entrance of the centre and it would be handed over to the patient

by the staff.

Sawant said the state has a ratio of 50 per cent patients recovering after admission in the ESI Hospital, which has been designated as the COVID hospital, and COVID care facilities. “We have 250 beds in the COVID hospital in which 80 patients are admitted. Of these, 30-35 are symptomatic,” he said. The Chief Minister said if required, the state government is ready to take over another hospital for COVID-19 treatment facility.

Sawant said though the state has been opened now for tourism, people who travel to Goa will stay in hotels. “There was pressure from the tourism industry and we wanted to start economic activity.” Sawant claimed that opening of the tourism sector will not contribute to the COVID-19 outbreak, as the tourists coming in will undergo test on arrival. He also said the tourists may not necessarily visit the state for sightseeing but even come down on a business trip.