Amid the increasing number of covid-19 cases and with citizens failing to follow the norms, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant Wednesday announced a junta night curfew in the state till August 10. He also declared imposition of a three-day lockdown, from Thursday night to 6 am, Monday, July 20. Those found violating the lockdown will be taken into custody, said Sawant at a press meet.
With heavy monsoon having begun, the CM added that the government had an estimate of a “possible surge in the cases in the midst of monsoon”.
“Let’s look at the lockdown as one more attempt to flatten the curve,” he said.
“The night curfew which we will call junta curfew will be between 8 pm and 6 am. Only those working in industries in second and third shifts will be allowed to step out and those with any medical emergencies. We have issued orders that anyone other than these categories found roaming will be stopped at every check point,” Sawant said.
Since June 1, after one positive case was detected at Mangor Hill, the infection spread rapidly in the state with over 500 Covid-19 cases being detected, who were either infected directly or through secondary contacts.
Thereafter, the state marked several containment and mini containment zones, with the health infrastructure spreading the burden from the lone Covid hospital in Margao, South Goa to at least five Covid care centres across the state.
Over the past week, a “grim situation”, as described by health secretary Nila Mohanan, played out when 136 employees of a pharmaceutical company inside an industrial estate were found to be infected. Contact tracing of those infected saw many employees travelled from containment zones to the industrial estate.
Chief Minister Sawant’s decision also comes a day after Governor Satyapal expressed concern over the rising number of cases at a meeting he had convened with the state officials to take stock of the situation.
On Wednesday, Sawant, justifying the night curfew, said, the “level of awareness and sensitivity” was seen lacking among the citizens even as Goa has shown 18 deaths and over 1,000-plus active cases currently in covid care centres. “We have more than 40,000 people fined for not wearing masks, plus there are many who are detained for flouting rules, but they continue to loiter. This only establishes that people only understand the language of the law.”
He added a system now has been put in place with the ministers as nodal head for each of the 12 talukas with daily monitoring managed at all levels under the Goa Police and collector’s administration.
The CM also said the administration had also been repeatedly getting calls on “parties and people stepping out to meet people at parties”.
Of the 2,753 covid cases, Goa currently has 1128 active cases with 18 deaths. A total of 3,522 test results are awaited.
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