REQUEST  TO  CONSIDER  A  STRICT  -STRUCTURED STATE-WIDE LOCKDOWN  TO  PREVENT  THE  SPREAD OF CORONA  VIRUS AND AVERT  FURTHER  LOSS OF  LIVES : Manoj  M Caculo, PRESIDENT – GCCI

As  you  are well aware, Goa  is  currently  facing  the biggest  health emergency  in its history.  The second  wave of  the Covid  pandemic appears  to  be  running  out of control  and we  have  seen  the  rate  of  positivity as well as  fatalities  breaking  new  records every  day  for the  last  10 days. The  rapid  spread  of  the  Corona  virus has  put  the  entire  health infrastructure  in  the state  under  tremendous  pressure  –  the  shortage of  hospital  spaces  and  inability  to  cope  with  the  growing  number of cases, shortage  of  medical equipment  and  essentials like  oxygen, vaccination  doses  etc  and  over  stressing  of  the  medical  professionals   and  health care  workers   are   beginning  to  take its  toll on  the  healthcare infrastructure     and  many  fear  its  breaking  down  if  no  severe  corrective  measures  are  adopted  soon.          

It  is  more  than  a  year now  that  we  first  encountered  this  pandemic  and  from  the  worldwide  experience  over  the  last  one  year, we  have  learnt  that  the  best  way  to  control the  pandemic  is  total  lockdown  to  ensure  that the  virus  transmission  chain  is  broken.  Form  our  own experience last  year  we  know  that   it  was   the  total  lockdown  from 22nd March  till 4th May  that  actually  helped us  in controlling  the  virus  from  spreading.   

Unfortunately, this  time  around, we have so far been reluctant  to  use  the  tried  and  tested  method  and  seem  to  be  concentrating  more  on  the  economic  revival  rather  than  survival  of  the  citizens.

While  we  appreciate  the  various  measures  the State administration is  taking  to  overcome  the  crisis, it appears  that  measures  like  partial  lock  downs  are  not  showing  the  desired  results.

There  is  a  growing  concern  in  the minds  of  the  citizens  and   the  local  authorities that  is  reflected  in  several  of  the  Village Panchayats  and  Municipalities  declaring  their  own  lockdowns   which  are  in contrast  to  the  partial lockdowns  imposed by  the  District  Administrations.

We  accept  that  the  Village Panchayats  and  the Municipalities  are  more aware  of  the  local  conditions   and  their  efforts  reflect  their  sense  of  urgency, but having two  conflicting  sets  of  lockdowns  are not an ideal  solution  –  not  only  for  the  citizenry  but  also  for  the  trade  and  industry.

Sir,  we submit  that  the  healthcare  infrastructure  in  the  State  is  already  on  the  brink  of  being  overwhelmed, and  there  is urgent  need  to  take  the  extreme  measure  of  total  lockdown   for  at least  15  days  with  a  view  to  arrest  the  increasing  number  of  positive  cases  and  fatalities and give much required breather to revive the Healthcare systems and the health workers to rejuvenate and ramp up the capacities and capabilities.

As  the  oldest  industry  association  in  the State we  recommend  a  total  and  strict  lockdown  in  the State.    A few  exemptions  as  mentioned in the Annexure I may  kindly  be considered.

It should be made mandatory to have negative RTPCR certificate to enter the state of Goa.

We   request  you to  kindly  review  the situation  and  consider  the  suggestion of total  lockdown  in  the State  for  at least  15 days.

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