Panaji: Demanding a white paper from the government on state machinery’s preparedness to tackle any further spike of COVID-19 cases in Goa, the united Opposition legislators, who met Chief Secretary Parimal Rai on Tuesday, insisted on customised standard operating procedure for state.
They demanded that this customised SOP should allow stranded natives to be given priority to return, as well as free quarantine facilities for seafarers, who are either already in Goa or expected to come back in the coming weeks.
The Opposition MLAs, including Goa Forward Party’s Vijai Sardesai and Jayesh Salgaonkar, and Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco of the Congress party, met the Chief Secretary.
Later speaking to media persons, Sardesai said the white paper should detail the critical health infrastructure being readied in the state, including availability of ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE), the intensive care unit facilities, and so on.”
The GFP president also added that it is unfair and discriminatory to force seafarers and other Goans returning to their native land, to stay in paid quarantine facilities, as against non-Goan people arriving in the state being allowed to stay in home quarantine.
“We have demanded that the state government formulate an SOP specific to Goa, wherein the Goans working on ships and also those who are stranded abroad without jobs and want to return to their home, should be treated on par with the non-Goan people arriving here,” he noted.
Lourenco said that several Goans, especially those in the Middle East, have lost their jobs and want to come back.
“These people are living in the camps as they are no more employed with any company; they should be brought back on priority,” he added.