While most the foreigners have stopped their travel plans to India due to the coronavirus scare the foreigners in Goa are not worried about the same as they are enjoying the pleasant weather of Goa. While the tourism industry is under pressure due to the coronavirus scare, Russian tourists in the Calangute-Candolim beach belt are enjoying their stay and have no plans to curtail their holiday.
According to the report published by the Times of India, The spread of coronavirus around the world is causing a ripple effect, with several countries, including India, imposing air travel restrictions. With many beginning to cancel their holidays to Goa, some foreign visitors who are already in the state have decided against altering their travel plans.
Speaking to TOI, a group of Russian tourists in the Calangute-Candolim beach belt said they are enjoying their stay and have no plans to curtail their holiday. “There is no problem for us as we can still fly back. It’s only a problem for those who want to come to Goa and enjoy the lovely weather here,” they said.
Due to the fear of the spread of coronavirus the state government has invoked the provisions of the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 and implemented several rules including authorising health authorities to quarantine persons or geographical areas as well as directing all hospitals including private hospitals to set up ‘flu corners’ and isolation wards in case the need arises.
Though Goa has not reported a single case of coronavirus victim the Government and authorities are taking enough precautions to avoid any possibilities of the infection. The Catholic church has also advised people to not attend the mass or religious prayers.
“If anyone has had contact with a person who has been diagnosed with coronavirus, please ask them to temporarily avoid coming to public functions where many congregate, for at least two weeks,” says the advisory, which is valid under Easter Sunday.
Meanwhile, some chartered tourists who are living in Goa for some time are in process of flying back maybe in the next 10 days while the Russians who are staying in Goa for more than two months have no plans of living Goa for another month or so.
“I think this whole coronavirus scare is just a hype. I feel completely safe in India, and I’m not going to change my travel itinerary just because of coronavirus. I feel there is no need to panic,” Jan Graveson, a British musician who spends a lot of time in Goa and Mumbai, said.
Graveson travels regularly travels between the UK and India, said she would be going to the UK shortly, but the visit has nothing to do the Covid-19 impact. “I want to visit my dad who is 86 years old. I’ll be back to enjoy Goa,” she said.
Some even have the fear of facing the 14 days quarantine and blood tests when they return back their country especially the tourists from the UK feel that they are safe as far as the virus did not hit Goa. “We are just hoping that it does not strike Goa or India as hard as it has in England, otherwise we will have to undergo the misery of screening, 14 days quarantine, blood tests, et al,” said Vincent, and in a lighter vein added, “We have read that the virus cannot survive in heat, so we are spending a lot of time in the sunlight.”
Meanwhile, the tourism stakeholders have the feeling that the suspension of visas will further reduce the entry of foreigners to Goa while they are positive as far as the number of domestic tourists remained steady during this period.
There is a possibility that in the next 15 days or so the coronavirus scare will reduce and the business will be back to the normal but everything depends on how the whole thing is tackled at the international level.