Goa Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant on Thursday reiterated his stand on reopening tourism and emphasised that it would be done only after the entirety of state's population was vaccinated with the first dose.
Speaking about the reopening of the tourism sector, Goa CM Pramod Sawant told ANI, "We can only think of opening tourism after completing 100 per cent of the first dose. We will think about it after July 30."
The state has administered vaccines to 76% of the eligible population, with 8 lakh people being inoculated with the first dose. The CM Pramod Sawant-led Goa government is also confident of inoculating its entire population by the end of July with the first dose. CM Pramod Sawant also hinted at making vaccination mandatory for those who haven't taken it yet.
Speaking about vaccination numbers, Goa CM said that the state has been able to administer over 10 lakh doses in all under Tika Utsav with the help of doctors, paramedics and nursing staff. "Over 8 lakh first doses administered. We aim to complete 100 per of cent first doses by July 30. We've completed 76% of first dose vaccination. Our 100% vaccination target (both) will be completed in October or November," CM Sawant added.
The state is also making efforts to inoculate the remaining 24% population within two weeks. The state administration is identifying those who have not received even the single dose yet and making efforts to achieve the target soon. “In the next 15 days, we are targeting the administration of the first dose to the remaining 24% population,” he said.
Citing COVID-19 precaution as priority, CM Sawant, stressed that the state cannot be opened for tourism as of now, because the state's COVID curve had not yet flattened. Goa continues to report COVID cases and has a test positivity rate of 5%. The CM said, “We still need to take precautions. The positivity rate has to come down to below 5% and the vaccination rate needs to go up."
Goa on Wednesday reported 192 fresh coronavirus positive cases and three deaths, taking the tally of infections to 1,68,015 and the toll to 3,082, the state health department said. A total of 196 patients were discharged during the day, taking the count of recoveries in Goa to 1,62,983 so far, leaving the state with 1,950 active cases. With 5,022 new tests, the number of samples tested so far for coronavirus in Goa rose to 9,52,985, an official said.