Congress attacks Goa CM for not extending lockdown

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(Eds: Updating with quotes) Panaji, May 2 (PTI) The Congress on Sunday slammed Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant for not extending the lockdown in the coastal state in view of the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Earlier in the day, the CM announced that the four-day lockdown in the state will be lifted on Monday morning but the COVID-19 induced curbs will remain in force till May 10.

Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat has appealed to traders and businessmen in his Margao Assembly constituency to voluntary observe a week-long lockdown.

'I have already appealed to the government to extend the lockdown in Goa but it appears that irresponsible BJP government is in no mood to listen,' Kamat said in a statement.

Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Girish Chodankar said the CM should be booked for culpable homicide.

'Irresponsible @BJP4Goa Government has pushed Goa into #CovidDeathTrap. Rising positive cases and increasing death toll due to improper healthcare. Defective @goacm says there is NO LOCKDOWN. Time has come for @DrPramodPSawant to get into LOCKUP for culptable homicide,' he tweeted.

Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte said the CM was acting against Goans.

'People of Goa deserve an explanation from @DrPramodPSawant as to why #GoaGovt delayed preparation for Covid's 2nd wave? Why #Lockdown isn't Extended with Border Control? Why on Earth is he so against Goans?' the Porvorim MLA tweeted.

Earlier in the day, Kamat demanded that the BJP-led state government announce a Rs 100 crore package for the marginalised sector to minimise the effect of the lockdown.

He also said the need of the hour is to hand over the COVID-19 management to a 'task force of experts from the civil society and the Army'.

The task force must be empowered with financial powers to take decisions in the best interest of the people, he said.

'Enough is enough, let us not play with the innocent lives any more,' Kamat stated.

Goa, a popular tourist hotspot, had reported an extremely high test positivity rate of over 50 per cent on Thursday.

Goa's coronavirus caseload went up by 2,030 and reached 95,385 on Sunday, while the day also saw 52 deaths and 1,255 people getting discharged, an official said. PTI RPS GK NSK NSK