On March 14, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had announced and urged political parties to not have any closed-door meetings or mass political gatherings as a precautionary measure from Coronavirus pandemic, ahead of the upcoming Zilla Panchayat elections. Days later, the Chief Minister has reportedly defied his own decision and continued to have multiple closed-door political meetings at a number of places.
According to reports, CM Sawant addressed closed meetings at Anjuna, Morjim, Harmal, and many other places in Zilla Panchayat constituencies. It is also reported that the Chief Minister will continue to campaign for the polls at other places too. The opposition parties in Goa have been demanding the Goa Zilla Panchayat elections which are slated to be held on March 22, to be postponed.
In the wake of Coronavirus, CM Sawant also chaired a high-level meeting on COVID-19 on Saturday, at his official residence in Panaji. The meeting was held to discuss the precautions to be taken considering the government of India guidelines and an overall action plan for the state of Goa in view of rising Coronavirus cases in India.
Post-meeting, Goa CM Pramod Sawant directed the closure of all educational institutes, pubs, clubs, gyms, casinos, cinema halls, spas, and boat cruises till March 31.
The closure came into effect from Sunday midnight. Adding further Sawant said that bars, restaurants, malls, and hotels were exempted from the ban and that Class X and Class XII board examinations would be held as scheduled.
The Chief Minister also urged tourists to not visit Goa until March 31, when the state government would conduct a review of the situation, before deciding on the future course of action.
So far, there has been no positive case of coronavirus in Goa. A 27-year-old man from Goa, who traveled to Italy and Finland last month and came in contact with a coronavirus patient, has been kept at an isolation ward of a state-run hospital in Panaji after he complained of cough and fever, Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said on Wednesday. The Mormugao Port Trust in Goa has banned the entry of cruise vessels till March 31 in view of the novel coronavirus threat, a senior official earlier said.