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Explained: Goa imposes a lockdown – Here’s what is allowed, what isn’t

The lockdown in Goa will begin at 7 pm on April 29 and will be lifted at 6 am on May 3.

The Goa government Wednesday announced a four-day lockdown in the state beginning Thursday evening (April 29) to Monday morning (May 3). While a night curfew and curbs on large gatherings have already been in place, the lockdown will mean tourism activities such as casinos and dine-in at restaurants will remain shut.

How many days is the lockdown in Goa for?

The lockdown in Goa will begin at 7 pm on April 29 and will be lifted at 6 am on May 3. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said for now a decision had been taken to impose only a four day lockdown to break the chain of the rising number of Covid-19 infections in the state and it is unlikely to be extended.

What will remain open?

Essential services including grocery shops will remain open throughout the day and there was no need for panic buying or hoarding of groceries, Sawant said. Restaurant kitchens have been allowed to remain open and food deliveries can also take place. Industries will be allowed to operate within their premises and will have to arrange for transport facilities for their staff. Government offices with limited staff will be open. Healthcare and emergency services will remain uninterrupted.

What about tourists entering the state?

Tourists coming into Goa over the course of the four days will be allowed to stay in their hotels but not venture out. Entry of vehicles coming into the state from neighboring states has not been curbed.

What will remain closed?

Public transport will not operate. While bars and restaurants were allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity so far, during the four days of the lockdown they will have to remain closed. Tourism activity including casinos will also be closed during the lockdown. Weekly markets in different parts of Goa will not be held during the lockdown.

Schools and colleges in the state were already closed after a rise in infections and board examinations have been postponed. Collectors of both North Goa and South Goa will issue the necessary guidelines for the lockdown on Wednesday evening.

What about events?

The Goa government had already appealed to to people not to host large events in the state. The chief minister, however, said on Wednesday that weddings and religious functions scheduled over the period of the lockdown can be held with no more than 50 persons in attendance.

What is the extent of Covid-19 infections in the state?

On Tuesday, there were 16,591 active cases of Covid-19 in Goa of which 2110 were reported in the last 24 hours. Thirty-one deaths were reported in the 24 hours preceding Tuesday.

The state is currently reeling under a testing backlog with test reports taking four-to five days. With added facilities and outsourcing to a private laboratory, the backlog is expected to drop and Sawant said that in the next couple of days, test reports may be available on the alternate day from testing.

The state has also added beds to its hospitals in both public and private hospitals, requisitioned two stadia for Covid Care Centres and roped in hotels for offering paid quarantine services. While the demand for oxygen had spiked in April, Sawant said the state was not experiencing shortage of either oxygen or Remdesivir.

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