Goa to adopt curbs like Maharashtra on arrivals from Delhi, says health minister Vishwajit Rane

The Goa government will adopt protocols similar to those of Maharashtra for flights and trains coming from Delhi, Health Minister Vishwajit Rane, said on Saturday amid fears that a second wave of Covid-19 cases could emerge in the state in the wake of increased movement.

Rane, who earlier this week had said that there wasn’t any need to test or ban people coming in especially from Delhi, however, changed track after holding an ‘emergency meeting’.

“In view of the rising Covid-19 cases in Delhi, the Government of Goa will adopt SOPs of [the] Maharashtra government and other state governments for flights and trains coming from Delhi. Secretary Health to have an emergency meeting on protocols for people coming in from the state of Delhi,” Rane said.

“With the end of Chhath Puja, a large number of migrant workers will start coming to the state. In view of the same, a note has been sent to the Secretary Health for immediate deliberations on protocols for labourers, SOPs for Industries and for the state with regards to testing,” Rane said.

Earlier this week, Rane had said that “as long as the state had the capacity to treat patients”, there would not be any need to impose restrictions on people coming from Delhi. He instead suggested that hotels keep aside a few rooms for isolating those tourists who might develop symptoms or if they get themselves tested and are found positive.

Maharashtra, which is the worst-affected state by the Covid-19 pandemic said it was considering banning flights and trains coming from Delhi as the capital has begun witnessing what some say is a third wave of coronavirus cases.

“We are also bringing new SOPs, so that every hotel will now have to have some isolation rooms. They need to maintain such rooms. Suppose they have some guests, who turn positive, it is their responsibility to isolate them,” Rane said, while speaking on Wednesday.

Goa is recording between 100-150 Covid-19cases per day down from 500-700 cases a few months ago, but has seen an influx of tourists across the month of November as the state reopened in a bid to revive the tourism dependent economy.

More than 46,000 people have contracted the disease in the state so far while 672 people have succumbed to the viral infection.

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