‘Stay at home’: Goa CM announces curfew from May 9-23

A state-level curfew will be imposed in Goa from May 9 to May 23, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Friday, urging people to stay indoors as much as possible in order to break the Covid chain and stem the rising tide of Covid-19 infections.

Stores selling essential items, including grocery stores will be allowed to remain open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m, he said. Medical stores will also be functional, and restaurant kitchens will be allowed to stay open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the curfew period.

“A detailed order will be issued by the respective District Collectors on Saturday evening,” Sawant said.

Asked about the difference between a lockdown, which has been demanded by industry captains and travel and tourism industry stakeholders and the state level curfew which he plans to implement from May 9, he said: “Both words (lockdown and curfew) mean the same”.

“If someone is seen roaming around on the roads during curfew hours, the police will take action as per penal sections. No one should step out of home unnecessarily. Everyone should co-operate. Statewide curfew is needed to break the chain,” Sawant said.

Sawant said that the state administration would not even give permission for marriages during the curfew period, saying weddings tended to be super-spreader events. He also said that the state government was preparing infrastructure to tackle the third Covid wave.

The Opposition has described the state level curfew announcement as “lip service”.

“Goa needs bigger measures, lip service will not work. Numbers are rising and people are dying. Goa is into Covid emergency,” Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat said.