Goa Oppn MLAs demand Covid lockdown, closure of state borders

Panaji, May 4 (IANS): Opposition MLAs in Goa have demanded a 15-day lockdown in the state and a closure of borders to combat the rising tide of Covid-19 infections, while also slamming the "lackadaisical approach" of the BJP-led state government in tackling the pandemic.

Opposition MLAs who met here to discuss the grim Covid-19 situation in the coastal state, have demanded a white paper on Covid management efforts, while urging the state government to set up an experts' panel to make suggestions for handling of the crisis.

"The government must immediately announce a 15-day lockdown in Goa with closure of all the borders. Entry to vehicles carrying essential commodities, medical aid and equipment and vehicles on government duty may be permitted during the lockdown period," Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat after the meeting.

"Opposition MLAs expressed complete displeasure over the attitude and approach of the government in handling the Covid situation. The MLAs strongly felt that the government must constitute a task force comprising of experts from civil society and army to handle and manage the Covid pandemic in the state of Goa," Kamat also said, while demanding a white paper from the government on handling of Covid management with details of availability of oxygen, ventilators, vaccines and beds in the state.

Kamat also said that the MLAs have demanded closure of the state's border, only allowing entry to tourists with Covid negative certificates.

"Government must take the expert opinion from academicians, educationists to prepare an academic action plan to ensure that inconvenience is not caused to the students studying at different levels. Government must take into consideration the decisions taken by other states with regards to SSC, HSSC and other examinations," he also said.

The opposition has also demanded transparency related to the procurement and availability of oxygen in the state, to allay fear among the people, about oxygen shortage.

"There is apprehension and fear in the minds of the people about the shortage of life saving medical oxygen in the state of Goa. Government must address this issue on topmost priority and ensure that required oxygen is made available in the state. The government must engage multiple vendors to ensure uninterrupted and timely supply of oxygen. The government must ensure that Goa makes good the current shortage," Kamat said.

Goa had imposed a four-day lockdown from April 29 to May 4.



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Title: Goa Oppn MLAs demand Covid lockdown, closure of state borders

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