As Goa’s Covid-19 cases continue to surge alarmingly with a Test Positivity Rate of 51%—the highest reported rate in the country—Goa Forward Party President Vijai Sardesai demanded that the state government immediately allocate the Rs. 300 crores gifted to Goa by the Centre to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Goa’s Liberation Day. “The govt needs to move rapidly with foresight amd urgently strengthen Goa’s health infrastructure to mitigate the distress the people find themselves in”, Vijai said.

Vijai asked Govt not to waste any time in deploying the unused funds to fight this second wave, suspending all unnecessary developmental work. “This is not the time to procrastinate, but the time to be resolute and determined. We need every resource we can muster to fight this pandemic and save our fellow Goemkars. We hope the government will acknowledge the magnitude of the second wave and rise up to the occasion as this is the time for urgent intervention.”

The former deputy CM urged the government to draw up an effective plan that lists out its priorities in these times and allocate funds accordingly. Further, Vijai suggested that the government declare the total number of vaccines it needs for both the doses so as to avoid people rushing to the centres in panic when vaccines arrive in the state. “Keeping the public informed will also help avoid unnecessary queuing, and the government would be able to roll out the vaccines effectively.”

Sardesai stated that the government’s lack of foresight, strategy and seriousness towards COVID-19, right from the beginning of the pandemic, and the Chief Minister’s refusal to listen to anyone including opposition and listening to Delhi BJP leaders have unnecessarily complicated issues here. “The government should stop the PR narrative that COVID is under control; now is the time for honesty and transparency. A government should be able to foresee difficulties and plan for adverse circumstances that could befall the state.”

The GFP chief added that “the government has all the resources at their disposal which include the best doctors and other medical personnel; experts and finances. There is no justifiable reason to not put up a good fight, but it seems like the government is losing control and failing in its duties because of their inability to think out of the box”, Vijai said.

Vijai Sardesai once again reminded the political establishment that “Goa’s success will depend on us thinking and acting like Goans and not like politicians.” He said that he hopes the govt will not shy away from taking on board suggestions and opinions from talented and experienced minds from across the political spectrum.

Also, agreeing with the top American immunologist Anthony Fauci that a lockdown for a few weeks in the state will make a difference, Vijai said, “Despite this inactive govt, which has other priorities like counting trips of ore and coal. We should go into a voluntary lockdown for a few weeks and help each other as Govt won’t agree and that would perhaps be a game changer in our fight against the pandemic”.