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Strict COVID-19 curbs come into force in Goa

People stayed indoors and streets wore a largely deserted look on Friday as a four-day-long lockdown came into force in Goa to bring down the rising COVID-19 cases in the coastal state.

The COVID-19-related curbs came into force at 9 pm on Thursday and will remain applicable till 6 am on Monday (May 3).

The state government has said all essential services would be allowed to function during the period.

A senior police officer said there was hardly any traffic on roads and strict patrolling was underway to implement the restrictions, especially in urban areas.

People have cooperated and are staying inside their homes, he said.

Goa has been witnessing a consistent rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths during the second wave of the pandemic, forcing the state administration to restrict movement of people and other public activities.

“Weekly markets will not be allowed during the lockdown. Casinos will also remain shut. However, industrial activities will be allowed to function,” Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had said while announcing the curbs on Wednesday.

Vaccination centres will function normally during the period, he had said.

The state clocked a 50 per cent positivity rate on Thursday when out of 5,910 samples tested for coronavirus, 3,019 returned positive, health department data showed. Also, 36 patients succumbed to the viral infection during the day.

The Indian Medical Associations Goa unit on Friday demanded that the lockdown be continued for 15 days or at least till positivity rate – proportion of samples returning positive among the total tested – drops to 10 per cent.

We wish the lockdown is extended by another 15 days or moreto have the Break the Chain effect which will definitely help in making the COVID-19 graphgoin a downward trend, IMA Goa president Vinayak Buvaji said in a letter to the chief minister.

The IMA would favour extending the lockdown for at least 15 days from Monday (May 3) or till the positivity comes down from existing 50 per cent to 10 per cent, he said.

Healthcare infrastructure will be able tomanage with a lower positivityrateand also bring down mortality rate,” he said.

Goa has so far recorded 88,028 COVID-19 cases and 1,146 deaths. As on April 29, the tiny coastal state had 20,898 active cases.

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