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Lockdown Is Not The Solution For Goa Amid The Rise In Covid Cases

Shacks in Goa
Shack on a Beachside in Goa

The cases of Covid started rising in the state due to the influx of the domestic tourists and non compliance of the SOPs. Tourists comes to Goa thinking it is a free state and they can do whatever they want and the businesses running on the tourism also encourage them, the live examples of the same is the Holi celebration parties that took place across the state in the Clubs and Hotels without any restrictions or SOPs. 

Although Goa is the least affected state in the country with very minimum cases but if the state administrations do not harness the carefree behaviour of the locals as well the tourists, the cases will keep rising and it will be difficult to control. Whatever may happen but the lowdown is not the solution for Goa at the moment. 

According to the report published by the NDTV the chief minister of Goa Dr Pramod Sawant stated that the Lockdown is not the solution. “The coastal state will not go for a lockdown as the move will disrupt the economic activities, and imposing a lockdown is not a solution to bring down COVID-19 related cases,” said CM

He urged people to take the vaccination and follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour to tackle the spread of coronavirus. “After the last lockdown, the Goa government had to start labour camps and the economy had dropped to zero,” He added. 

According to Mr Sawant at the moment enforcing a strict measures will only control the rising cases of Coronavirus and he has directed the the enforcement agencies to fine people more than once if they are found violating COVID-19 norms on more than one occasion.  

“I have told the police and the Collector’s office that if a person is seen violating (SOPs) in public places repeatedly, the person can be fined more than once,” Mr Sawant said.

In the month of December Goa started welcoming the tourists back into the state and Goa does not have any restrictions for entering into the state although tourists traveling back to other states from Goa needs to undergo the RTPCT (Covid) tests and carry the certificate. 

The cases in Maharashtra and Karnataka started rising and the state government started imposing the restrictions due to which people from these states started entering in Goa to enjoy vacation and parties. Now Goa is showing rise in the cases and that due to non compliance of the SOPs. People regardless of tourists or locals do not wear masks in public, and they do not follow the Covid norms laid down by the state Government. 

Last year the Covid-19’s resurgence had killed Goa tourism industry’s hopes of a strong end to the season, forcing establishments to shut shop early but the beginning of the November had brought a big hopes as the tourism sector saw robust revival between November and January but again due to the rise in Covid cases in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Delhi resulted into cancellations and fall in bookings. 

“The sector is witnessing a steep slowdown and we expect that to continue for at least another two months. One of the first victims of the rising number (of infections) is going to be optional travel with people either postponing travel themselves or being advised against travelling,” Nilesh Shah, the president of the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa, said adding that “The slowdown began in the month of March despite a brief spurt in arrivals on account of the Holi weekend and has continued its downward trend since then.” 

Meanwhile, another stakeholder, Mr John Lobo, a shack owner told the Hindustan Times that the shack owners have witnessed a steep drop in the footfalls. “Our numbers (of footfalls) have witnessed a steep fall over the past few weeks and we don’t expect them to rise further this season. Even among the tourists that do come, we do not see anybody following protocol, which also puts us at risk,” Said John Lobo. 

Last year, around 25-lakh tourists visited Goa up to December, a little over a quarter of normal arrivals, suggesting tourism was slowly picking up after lifting of travel restrictions following the lockdown. Prior to the pandemic, the state witnessed close to 90-lakh tourists including around 9-lakh foreigners and the lockdown will only result into the complete collapse of the tourism and other business industry in the state. 

According to you what should be the course of action? Do you go with the lockdown in the state? or you support the people following the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and keep the Covid at bay! Do let u know your views in the comments box below.    

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