Goa mulls ban on Maha travellers to curb COVID-19 cases

Ban on travellers from Maharashtra needed to check COVID-19 cases in Goa

With travellers from Maharashtra accounting for nearly 90 -percent of Goa's COVID-19 cases, Ports Minister Michael Lobo has called for a 15-day ban on the entry of persons from Maharashtra into Goa in order to prevent transmission of coronavirus cases from across the inter-state border.

Lobo also said, that it was best to take the extreme precaution, because the best of experts were still unsure about how the COVID-19 virus would react during the monsoon, with health professionals fearing a spike in cases during the oncoming rainy season.

"Entry of people from Maharashtra into Goa should be banned by road, by rail, and through air travel. If you want to stop more COVID-19 patients coming into Goa we have to ban their entry. This is the only solution because there is the transmission of COVID-19 virus in Maharashtra in a big way," he further said.

"I am demanding from my CM in writing, to impose this ban for at least 15 days. I do not mean to be discriminatory against Maharashtra, but to keep Goa secure and safe we must take the step," the Ports Minister said.  

The Goa government was also mulling a separate SOP for passengers coming in specifically from Maharashtra, but in light of a subsequent decision to make administering of a COVID-19 test mandatory on arrival, the plan for a separate SOP was scrapped.

Speaking to reporters in Panaji on Friday (May 29) Sawant was asked if Goa, like Karnataka, would impose a ban on entry of persons from COVID-19 hotspots like Delhi, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, etc, to which he said: "We are testing everyone coming into Goa, so there is no need to ban anyone. When we are testing 100-percent at the state borders, I do not think something specific like this is needed".  

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox