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Health Minister wants cap on visitors



A meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party ministers as well as legislators held with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday witnessed a suggestion made by many of the attendees as regards government immediately sealing Goan borders for people arriving from Maharashtra.

Those present at the meeting observed that most of the COVID-19 patients recently detected in Goa had arrived from Maharashtra.

It may be recalled that the Karnataka government had recently sealed its borders with Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Goa, and decided not to allow vehicular movement except for the supply of essentials.

The legislators also suggested that shopping malls, restaurants and gymnasiums should not be allowed to open until new guidelines are issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The meeting of the ruling MLAs was unanimous on extension of the lockdown period by another 15 days.

Health Minister, Vishwajit Rane, who attended the meeting, later told ‘The Navhind Times’ that he has suggested to the Chief Minister capping the number of people arriving in Goa. “The recent inflow of people has put pressure on our COVID-19 related infrastructure including testing facilities,” he said.

Rane also maintained that the number of people arriving in Goa from

Maharashtra should be immediately restricted, as the neighbouring state has become a hotspot for corona transmissions and if the same is not followed, then there is fear of community transmissions starting in Goa.

Speaking further, the Health Minister said that he also requested the Chief Minister to restart the permit system for entry of people into Goa. “We should go back to this system, which was run through our District Collectors, so that we know exact number of people entering the state,” he noted. He also said the ruling MLAs have suggested that till June 15, the government should not allow more activities including operation of restaurants, malls etc and wait for new guidelines of the central government.

Minister for Waste Management Michael Lobo said it is important to stop people from arriving in Goa from Maharashtra.

“As per my knowledge, almost all Goans stuck in Maharashtra are back here,” he said, pointing out that if due care is not taken to control COVID-19 positive patients arriving in Goa from Maharashtra, then the corona transmission-related situation in Goa would deteriorate, especially after the arrival of monsoon on June 5.

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