Amid the unprecedented surge in the number of Covid-19 cases in Goa, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Wednesday that a night curfew would be imposed in the state from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., even as casinos and hotels will be allowed to function post curfew hours at 50 per cent capacity.

Sawant also said that the restrictions would be in place till April 30, after which the Covid scenario in the state would be reviewed.

Casinos, bars and restaurants, river cruises, water parks, entertainment parks, gyms, massage parlours, cinema halls, multiplexes and public transports will be allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity only, Sawant said.

Class X and XII board exams, which were scheduled to be held over the next two months, have also been postponed and a decision on the future dates would be taken after April 30, Sawant said.

Elections to five municipal councils scheduled on April 23 will, however, be held with strict implementation of the Covid SOPs, he said.

“The night curfew will be in place from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. People should not loiter in public places needlessly. Industrial and goods transport have been excluded from the curfew,” Sawant said.

The Chief Minister, however, ruled out mandatory testing of people entering the state, a demand which has been consistently made by the opposition parties.

“We will not impose a lockdown. Not now, not later. So people should not indulge in panic buying. The measures have been taken to ensure that people, especially the youngsters, do not loiter needlessly on public roads,” Sawant told a press conference on Wednesday, adding that the second Covid wave is impacting the youngsters more.

“Public swimming pools, schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutes will be shut. Social, political, sports, entertainment and cultural congregations will not be allowed,” the Chief Minister said.

Sawant also said that mass congregations of religious nature will also not be allowed in the state till April 30.

“Mass gatherings at religious places have been banned. Regular rituals, however, can be carried out on a minimal scale,” Sawant said.

The Chief Minister said that the Goa government is in the process of increasing bed capacity in the state’s hospitals in order to handle the increased load of Covid-19 cases in the state, which has witnessed a steep spike over the last few weeks.

On Wednesday, 1,502 persons tested positive for Covid-19, while 17 persons died due to the infection. Goa currently has 9,300 active cases.

Sawant said that the increase in the number of reported infections is on the account of a corresponding increase in the number of tests conducted by the government agencies.

“We have crossed 4,000 tests and our target is to reach 5000 tests,” Sawant said, adding that there is no shortage of oxygen or the critical drug Remdesivir in the state.

–IANS

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