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Goa extends lockdown to May 10 as cases rise

THE GOA government on Tuesday imposed additional restrictions in the state after village panchayats in different parts of the state started imposing their own ‘lockdown’ in their jurisdiction.

While the state government had earlier enforced a 4-day lockdown that concluded on May 3, it had imposed certain restrictions on large gatherings till May 10 but allowed businesses like restaurants to operate at 50 per cent capacity.

On Tuesday, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant tweeted, “My government understands concerns of our Goan citizens in this pandemic. Additional restrictions are being imposed on shops selling non-essential items till May 10, 2021. Restaurants will cease to function except their kitchens for home delivery of food items.”

Sawant said that markets under municipal bodies and panchayats will have to be held following social distancing SOPs laid down by the government. “There is no need for separate lockdowns. Everybody just has to follow the orders issued by the government,” Sawant said.

“I ask all municipal bodies and panchayats not to close down essential services. If they do that many people will step out in panic to buy things so they should keep all essential services open,” the CM said.

Sawant also held meeting with opposition party MLAs who recommended that the state go into a 15-day lockdown in view of the rising Covid-19 infections. Leader of Oppostition in the Goa legislative assembly Digambar Kamat said that the government must immediately set up a task force for Covid management consisting of civil society and the army and demanded a white paper on availablility of medicines, oxygen, ventilators, beds and vaccines.

Kamat also said state borders should be closed except for transporting essential items and entry of tourists should be limited by making a negative RT-PCR test report mandatory.

On Tuesday, the number of active Covid 19 cases in Goa surged to 26,731 of which 2,814 were new cases. The case positivity rate in the state was 42.94 percent and 52 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.

The government on Tuesday issued directives to set up step-up hospitals at Dr Shama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium where patients who do not require oxygen can be treated. Two more step up hospitals in Chicalim and Cansaulim will be operational by Wednesday, the government said.

The district administration was also asked to take initiatives to set up such step up hospitals in each block. The doctors of the concerned PHC/CHC and of the neighbouring PHC/CHC will come together to operate such hospitals.

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