The Candolim- Calangute beach in Goa.(ANI)
The Candolim- Calangute beach in Goa.(ANI)

Goa tourism stakeholders fume at Maharashtra’s Covid-19 SOPs

Tourism stakeholders in Goa say the Maharashtra government’s insistence on RT-PCR tests for those entering the state from Goa will mean that Maharashtrian tourists will keep away because of time constraints.
By Gerard de Souza | Hindustan Times, Panaji
UPDATED ON NOV 26, 2020 06:58 PM IST

The Maharashtra government’s decision to include Goa among the places from which travellers entering the state will have to produce a Covid-19 negative certificate is a deliberate ploy to ruin Goa’s tourism, stakeholders have said.

“Goa tourism is going to be doomed with the Maharashtra government asking all travelling from Goa to Mumbai to have a negative certificate. It takes 48 hours for the report to come so tourists who come to Goa and are travelling back to Mumbai will have to obtain one. Tourists will try to keep away from Goa. I think it’s a ploy to destroy Goa tourism,” John Lobo a shack owner from North Goa said.

His view was echoed by the president of the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) Nilesh Shah who said that there was no ‘scientific reasoning’ to include Goa among the list of regions from which arrivals will be tested.

“It appears that it is more of a political ploy rather than anything done with scientific reasoning. Goa is one of the safest places with regard to Covid-19 cases. No doubt safety is important and it would be OK if they had decided to test people coming in from Delhi or other hotspot places. Maybe they wish to promote their own tourist hotspots at the cost of Goa,” Shah said.

“Besides these can easily be bypassed by those travelling from Goa to Maharashtra who can simply drive back via Belgaum in Karnataka or take a flight via Bangalore. These SOPs do not appear to be practical,” Shah said.

Tourists from large cities like Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi have been visiting Goa with the airport now handling 48 flights and around 13,000 passengers per day. The number of flights is a little over half the number of flights being handled before the pandemic began.

However, if the mandatory testing protocol continues, stakeholders, who have been hardest hit by the lockdown and travel restrictions believe the added inconvenience will further deter those willing to step out.

Goa’s tourism minister Manohar Ajgaonkar said that the SOPs adopted by Maharashtra were “against MHA instructions”.

Earlier Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant as well as health minister Vishwajit Rane had railed against the Maharashtra government after Goa was included in the list.

“The Maharashtra SOPs say that even if the person is symptomatic, the person will be subjected to an antigen test. How can that work? If a person is symptomatic, the person will have to undergo an RT-PCR test. Only then can a person be successfully segregated or else it will be of no use,” Sawant told reporters.

For his part, Rane has said that state government’s free Covid-19 testing services will not be extended to those people wishing to take the certificate for the purpose to travel to Maharashtra.

“Goa Medical College and Directorate of Health Services has been directed not to carry out Covid test pertaining for travel purpose. The Health department is here to keep the people of Goa safe. People wishing to avail a Covid test for travel purposes should visit either the North Goa or South Goa District Hospitals. The RTPCR test will be conducted on a chargeable basis,” Rane said.

“All tests pertaining to the safety of the citizens of Goa, which are recommended by the doctors of PHCs, CHCs and Flu OPDs will continue as before,” he added.

Goa is recording between 100-200 cases daily while the number of deaths ranges between 0-5 over the past few weeks. However an increase in tourist numbers accompanied by social distancing norms being thrown to the winds in casinos, nightclubs and party hotspots has led to fears that the numbers could spike up once again over Christmas and the New Year.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
Reacting to the developments, Goswami, in a statement on Tuesday, said: “I am horrified that the Congress party actually thinks that any journalist in India expressing the views publicly stated by the Government is committing a crime.”
Reacting to the developments, Goswami, in a statement on Tuesday, said: “I am horrified that the Congress party actually thinks that any journalist in India expressing the views publicly stated by the Government is committing a crime.”

Congress steps up attack on Centre over Arnab Goswami's chats

UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 06:59 AM IST
The Congress leaders claimed in a statement that the chats “conclusively prove leaks of top secret information detrimental to national security & integrity” and held members of Cabinet committee on security responsible for the leak.
Close
With the shipping of doses to Bhutan and the Maldives, India also became the first country to provide South Asian nations with vaccines as aid.(AFP)
With the shipping of doses to Bhutan and the Maldives, India also became the first country to provide South Asian nations with vaccines as aid.(AFP)

Bhutan, Maldives first to benefit from India’s ‘Vaccine Maitri’

UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 06:50 AM IST
Two aircraft took off several hours apart, carrying 150,000 doses of Covishield vaccine for Thimphu and 100,000 doses for Male. The external affairs ministry has said India will initially provide vaccines to Bhutan, the Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles.
Close
In Kerala, by contrast, the case trajectory has dropped only 34% —from 8,728 cases (seven-day average) on October 13 to 5,374 cases a day in the past week.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
In Kerala, by contrast, the case trajectory has dropped only 34% —from 8,728 cases (seven-day average) on October 13 to 5,374 cases a day in the past week.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

One in 3 new coronavirus cases recorded in Kerala

By Ramesh Babu, Thiruvananthapuram
UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 06:47 AM IST
Since India’s Covid-19 peak in its first and only wave, the national case trajectory has dropped 85% — from 93,617 on September 16 to 14,376 on January 19.
Close
The last edition of the India Innovation Index, released in October 2019, was a first-of-its-kind metric for assessing the innovation capabilities of Indian states and Union territories.(AP Photo. Representative image)
The last edition of the India Innovation Index, released in October 2019, was a first-of-its-kind metric for assessing the innovation capabilities of Indian states and Union territories.(AP Photo. Representative image)

Karnataka retains top position at India Innovation Index ranking

UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 06:29 AM IST
Maharashtra leapfrogged Tamil Nadu to take second place in the rankings, followed by Telangana, Kerala, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.
Close
An elderly farmer sits in the back of a tractor trolley as they block a highway in protest against new farm laws at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh state border, outskirts of New Delhi. (AP PHOTO)
An elderly farmer sits in the back of a tractor trolley as they block a highway in protest against new farm laws at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh state border, outskirts of New Delhi. (AP PHOTO)

Farm laws protests LIVE: SC-appointed panel to meet farmers' unions leader

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Shankhyaneel Sarkar
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 06:28 AM IST
  • The protests against the farm laws at Delhi's border has entered its eighth week.
Nadda said that the BJP had set an example of how a political party can “effectively work as a potent tool of social service and help people in times of need”.(PTI)
Nadda said that the BJP had set an example of how a political party can “effectively work as a potent tool of social service and help people in times of need”.(PTI)

JP Nadda hails BJP cadre, sets goal of ‘historic’ poll wins

PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 06:24 AM IST
In an open letter to party workers, Nadda exuded confidence that the ‘lotus’, the party’s poll symbol, will bloom in West Bengal after the assembly elections.
Close
A worker disinfects the poultry farm in Shivapur village to protect chickens from bird flu decease.(HT Photo )
A worker disinfects the poultry farm in Shivapur village to protect chickens from bird flu decease.(HT Photo )

Bird flu: New cases trigger second wave concerns

By Ritesh Mishra, Ramesh Babu, Raipur/thiruvananthapuram
UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 06:21 AM IST
The first case of bird flu was reported from Jhalawar in Rajasthan on December 29, and the infections, deadly for birds, spread to 10 other states, resulting in the deaths of thousands of poultry, and hundreds of common crows and some migratory species.
Close
Nearly 64 lakh students across Maharashtra are yet to have their Aadhar card or have not updated their details.(HT file)
Nearly 64 lakh students across Maharashtra are yet to have their Aadhar card or have not updated their details.(HT file)

4-1 verdict: Supreme Court dismisses pleas seeking Aadhaar ruling review

UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 06:16 AM IST
By 4-1, a constitution bench affirmed the verdict delivered in September 2018 when the top court upheld the country’s biometric identity system and also cleared mandatory Aadhaar enrolment of recipients of government welfare benefits.
Close
Separately, CJI Bobde made an indirect appeal to the farmers to come on board and meet with the court-appointed committee that has been tasked with finding ways to address the impasse.(Sakib Ali/HT Photo)
Separately, CJI Bobde made an indirect appeal to the farmers to come on board and meet with the court-appointed committee that has been tasked with finding ways to address the impasse.(Sakib Ali/HT Photo)

Supreme Court turns down plea seeking to stop farmers’ tractor rally

By Utkarsh Anand, Abraham Thomas
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 06:11 AM IST
Declining to pass any order on the plea by the government, a bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde, remarked that it was not for the court to remind the authorities of the policing power they have by passing an order in this regard.
Close
Facebook-owned WhatsApp rolled out a new privacy policy recently that included mandatory sharing of data with its parent company.(REUTERS)
Facebook-owned WhatsApp rolled out a new privacy policy recently that included mandatory sharing of data with its parent company.(REUTERS)

WhatsApp backs policy, says addressing ‘misinformation’

PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 06:04 AM IST
“We wish to reinforce that this update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook. Our aim is to provide transparency and new options available to engage with businesses...” a WhatsApp spokesperson said.
Close
Because of Covid-19 safety protocols, the ECI has decided to reduce the average number of voters in each polling station from 1,500 to nearly 1,000.(PTI/ File photo)
Because of Covid-19 safety protocols, the ECI has decided to reduce the average number of voters in each polling station from 1,500 to nearly 1,000.(PTI/ File photo)

Electoral rolls, not NRC, to determine voters in Assam: Election Commission

By Utpal Parashar, Guwahati
UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 06:00 AM IST
Around 1.9 million (of 33 million applicants) were left out of the updated NRC published for Assam on Augst 31, 2019. The NRC was a list intended to identify legal residents and weed out illegal immigrants from Assam.
Close
Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said Sikkim is a picturesque location for a Film City. (Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times Archive)
Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said Sikkim is a picturesque location for a Film City. (Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times Archive)

Film City in Sikkim: Union minister Jitendra Singh holds discussions

ANI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 05:53 AM IST
The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) campus in Arunachal Pradesh was established in 2018, the second in the country after Pune.
Close
The agency claims to have already established that Rishi took <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>30 lakh bribe in two tranches for facilitating the leak of information from the agency and that Dhankad had taken around <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>25 lakh from two companies.(Representative image)
The agency claims to have already established that Rishi took 30 lakh bribe in two tranches for facilitating the leak of information from the agency and that Dhankad had taken around 25 lakh from two companies.(Representative image)

CBI arrests two of its officials in bribery case

By Neeraj Chauhan
UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 05:47 AM IST
The allegation is that crucial case related information and documents have been leaked since 2018 to individuals/companies being investigated for bank frauds.
Close
The composition of this four-member committee triggered a controversy since all four had previously made statements in support of the reforms.
The composition of this four-member committee triggered a controversy since all four had previously made statements in support of the reforms.

Supreme Court irked over criticism of farm committee picks

UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 05:39 AM IST
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, have been camping at several Delhi border points since November 26, demanding a complete repeal of the three farm laws and legal guarantee of minimum support price for their crops.
Close
Representational Image. (File photo)
Representational Image. (File photo)

Government writes to WhatsApp, asks it to withdraw new privacy policy

By Deeksha Bhardwaj
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 05:27 AM IST
It has also issued a detailed questionnaire to WhatsApp seeking more details about its data-sharing protocols and business practices
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP