State tightens COVID curbs

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Govt asks shops and other establishments engaged in selling non-essential wares to shut operations till May 10

Panaji: As the coronavirus pandemic continues creating havoc in the state, the government on Tuesday tightened COVID restrictions asking shops and establishments engaged in selling non-essential items to shut their operations till May 10.

The additional restrictions have been clamped as part of the statewide curbs imposed to check the spread of deadly virus.

The government also said the restaurants and hotels, which had been permitted to operate from 7 am to 7 pm with 50 per cent capacity, have been asked to stop the  ‘dine-in’ arrangement.

The restaurants will stop regular service but will run their kitchens for home delivery of food, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant explained.

Sawant said the government empathises with Goans vis-à-vis the pandemic.

Considering the sentiments of the people, it was decided to ask shops and establishments selling non-essential items to shut the operations till May 10.

The restrictions, which came into force from April 29 evening, have been extended till 6 am on May 10.

The government has allowed to function only those establishments engaged in running essential services like grocery shops, banks, petrol pumps, pharmacies etc. Casinos, bars, pubs, cinema theatres, malls, schools, weekly markets etc are amongst those which have not been allowed to operate during this period.

Even as several village panchayats and municipalities moved to implement strict lockdown to arrest the spread of coronavirus, the Chief Minister said that there is no need for separate lockdowns by the local bodies.

Speaking to reporters at the secretariat, Sawant appealed to the village panchayats and municipalities not to go for lockdown as it will cause panic among the people.

Sawant warned the panchayats against unnecessarily restricting the movement of people, who move out to perform their official duties.

“Some MLAs are also involved in imposing lockdown at local level. Many of people are not being  allowed to move out. The people working in hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and other establishments running essential services should work during this pandemic. Not allowing them to move out of the residence is unacceptable,” he reckoned.