Panaji: With Covid-19 cases seeing a sharp spike in Goa, the Opposition parties have slammed the government over the nature of lockdown in the state. On Thursday out of 5910 samples tested, 3019 returned positive, taking the positivity rate to an alarming 50 per cent. However, restaurants and wet markets were allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity during the four-day lockdown in Goa. Questions were being raised by the Opposition as well as a cabinet minister, about the seriousness of the preventive measures enforced to control the Covid-19 surge in the coastal state. The four-day lockdown was imposed in the state after much dithering by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant from Thursday night to Monday morning.Also Read - Arrest Warrant Issued Against Bagga in Mohali; BJP Workers Protest Outside Kejriwal's Residence | Key Points
“This lockdown is to pull the wool over the eyes of the people of the state. Shops, private factories, establishments are open, buses are functioning, restaurants and even wine shops are open. How is this a lockdown?” IANS quoted Progressive Front of Goa spokesperson Hridaynath Shirodkar. Also Read - Goa CM Pramod Sawant Allocates Portfolios, Keeps Home & Finance
Carlos Ferreira, who heads the legal cell of the Congress, said that the orders issued by District Magistrates ordering the lockdown were flawed. “Nowhere do these orders issued by them mention the word lockdown,” he said, adding that the administrative orders were ambiguous in nature, news agency IANS reported. Also Read - Goa portfolio allocation: CM Pramod Sawant Gets Home Ministry, 3 Other Departments | Full List Here
Meanwhile, markets in Goa were largely closed on Friday, even as several stores including shops selling non-essential goods like even plywood and liquor were open in several areas, according to Ports Minister Michael Lobo.
“Plywood shops, glassware shops, liquor shops were open in the morning. They were told by the police and other officials to shut down later. I feel that the North Goa Collector has to come out with clear orders under Section 144,” he said.
The Minister said that the Covid-19 situation was spiralling out of control in the state. “There are no beds with oxygen at the District Hospital and the Goa Medical College. It is difficult to give patients oxygen flow in this situation,” Lobo said, adding that he would request Chief Minister to extend the preventive measure for nine more days at least, to break the Covid-19 chain.
Sawant, however, has maintained that the lockdown would end on Monday morning.
“Lockdown will not be extended. People should stay home and co-operate with the government,” he said. Meanwhile, photos showed deserted streets. Calangute beach, which normally remains buzzing with tourists, also wore a deserted look.
Do Not Rush To Vaccination Centres: CM Sawant
Meanwhile, Goa Chief Minister has also urged the people of the State to not rush to the vaccination centres when it opens for people above 18 -44 years age group.