COVID-19: Night curfew likely in Goa, says minister

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Panaji, Dec 31 (PTI) The Goa government is likely to impose night curfew in the state on the lines of Delhi to prevent the spread of COVID-19, a state minister said on Thursday.

Health Minister Vishwajit Rane, however, did not specify when its implementation is likely to start.

He said that he has discussed the issue with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.

'I have spoken to the chief minister on imposing night curfew in the state on lines of the state of Delhi and Karnataka. The file is already in the process,' Rane said in a statement.

'Strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) is the need of the hour as Goa is a tourist state,' he added.

The minister said that he received a letter from the Union Health Secretary, which asked each state government to ensure that SOPs and strict protocols are laid down considering the coronavirus situation at the local level.

'Since Goa is a tourist state, it is imperative to have strict SOPs in place, so that we are able to sustain the tourism activities as per the COVID-19 guidelines,' he said.

A senior health department official in Goa said that the Union Health Ministry sent a letter to the state government on Thursday, asking it impose the curbs.

In the letter, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan called for a strict vigil in Goa to curb all potential 'super spreader' events and places where crowds may gather to celebrate the New Year.

It also referred to its earlier communication wherein it had said that states and Union Territories may impose restrictions, such as night curfew, at the local level based on their assessment of the situation to contain the spread of COVID-19.

'However, there shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods. In view of the matter, you may promptly assess the local situation and consider imposition of appropriate restrictions on 30th, 31st December and 1st January, 2021,' the letter says. PTI RPS NP NP