For now, no strict SOP for people visiting Goa: CM

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NT NETWORK

Panaji

Even as a large number of domestic tourists have been arriving in Goa, the state government will not impose stringent standard operating procedures (SOPs) such as making COVID-19 negative certificate compulsory for visitors.

Speaking to media after attending the virtual meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on COVID-19 management on Tuesday, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said as the situation in Goa is under control, for now, there will be no separate standard operating procedure for travellers coming down to the state.

“But we will introduce thermal guns to check body temperature at important points like railway stations and airport. Hotels have also been asked to keep thermal guns in their premises to check tourists on arrival,” he said.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday held a meeting via videoconferencing with all the chief ministers and concerned officers to assess the status of COVID-19 in the country and to discuss COVID vaccine delivery, distribution and administration etc.

The virtual meeting, coordinated by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, was attended in Goa by the Chief Minister, chief secretary Parimal Rai, Director General of Police Mukesh Kumar Meena and other officers at the state Secretariat.

Sawant said the Prime Minister has asked various state governments to work out logistics and modalities for administering COVID-19

vaccine which may happen any time after January. “While there is no fixed date for the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine, states have been asked to be prepared, as it can happen any time after January,” he said.

The Chief Minister said the health workers and COVID-19 warriors will be administered the vaccine first, followed by people above the age of 65 years and those suffering from co-morbid conditions. He said although Goa is witnessing a decline in fresh infections, we should not be lenient. Measures such as wearing of face mask, social distancing and sanitisation should be continued, he said.

Sawant said the meet also discussed strategy for distribution of vaccine and added that cold chain system has to be maintained to store the vaccine.

The Chief Minister warned that action will be taken on parties and clubs in coastal belts if the organisers are found violating norms like thermal screening, social distancing and wearing of masks.