Lockdown 5.0: Goa seeks reopening of malls, restaurants
The Goa government has sought the reopening of restaurants, shopping malls, and gymnasiums, as part of the easing of restrictions under lockdown 5.0, which is likely to come into effect from Monday for another 15 days in a bid to contain the spread of the raging coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, state chief minister Pramod Sawant said on Friday.
Sawant, who spoke to Union Home Minister Amit Shah over the telephone on Thursday, said that the state would await the final instructions from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) before taking a call on the easing of restrictions in lockdown 5.0.
“I spoke to Amit Shahji on Thursday. It appears that the lockdown may continue for 15 more days. We’ve sought relaxation in two or three matters, which includes restaurants be opened with 50% of their capacity while maintaining strict distancing norms. People have also been seeking an exemption to gymnasiums. Let’s wait for the Centre’s guidelines on the basis of which the state will take a call,” Sawant said.
The CM said that he was in support of the lockdown being extended by 15 more days because of the growing number of Covid-19 positive cases.
“Most economic activities have started in Goa except for the opening of restaurants, hotels, shopping malls, and gymnasiums. We believe that at least restaurants, shopping malls, and gymnasiums can be opened if social distancing norms are adhered to. We’ll inform the MHA authorities after their guidelines are made available to us,” Sawant said.
The state government is still claiming that Goa is in the green zone, as the recent spurt in Covid-19 positive cases could be directly attributed to people, who have returned to the state amid the easing of lockdown restrictions and there have been no reports of community transmission.
Goa has reported 69 Covid-19 positive cases, including 38 patients who have recovered, to date.
While seven Covid-19 positive cases were reported in the first phase of the lockdown between March 25 and April 14, another 62 – most of them asymptomatic --- were recorded after interstate travel restrictions were partially eased.
The state authorities are testing all returnees from this week unless they can produce a Covid-19 free certificate issued 48 hours before their entry into Goa.