April 20, 2021 3:34:12 am
As Goa recorded its highest ever daily deaths on Monday in the second wave of the pandemic, state health minister Vishwajit Rane said that the need for oxygen in the state is expected to double. The minister also urged Goa’s young people to “stop partying”, as the state is undergoing a sharp rise in infections, recording its highest ever positivity rate of 34 per cent on Monday.
Stating that the health sector is being severely burdened with the rising infections, Rane said, “The young generation needs to understand that they need to stop partying and stay at home. This is not the time for you to party. This is a serious situation in the state and in the country. In clubs, we have seen people without masks, everybody jumping around the place. Action should be taken against such clubs.”
“The load is increasing on doctors,” he said. “Parents of these young children must try to keep them at home rather than sending them to parties…every weekend we see (youths partying) on the beach at Morjim and many other areas. It seems to be a free-flow (of) party everywhere. As a result, the virus is infecting more people compared to last year.”
While Goa has capped the number of attendees at gatherings and imposed Section 144 in North Goa, the government has not laid down any strict guidelines for restaurants or clubs to follow, apart from the usual SOPs of wearing masks, maintaining distance and using sanitisers. Rane also said that some strict measures will have to be taken and that he personally feels that at least for a month, swimming pools will have to be closed down and gyms and restaurants allowed to run only at half their capacity.
Rane said discussions will be held with the Chief Minister and a decision will be taken keeping the interest of all Goans in mind.
Goa banned sending oxygen out of the state last week and diverted all industrial use towards healthcare. With another 940 fresh cases reported on Monday, the small coastal state now has 7,547 active cases as on Monday, with its highest ever positivity rate of 34 percent.
“I had never imagined that we will need so much oxygen,” Rane said. The oxygen requirement before the resurge of infections in the state was about six trolleys – each with 150 oxygen cylinders – which has now increased to 45 trolleys, said Dean of Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) S M Bandekar.
“There are people on the trolley; there are people on the floor. What do you want me to do? As the health minister, I cannot raise my hands. I have to accept that this is a fact but don’t put false pictures of people. Young doctors are working hard,” Rane said.
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