Most ministers in Goa on Wednesday urged Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to continue with prohibitory orders until the coronavirus threat ended, even as several other ministerial colleagues called for extension of the 21-day lockdown by a few more days.
Speaking to reporters after a Cabinet meeting at the state secretariat, the ministers unanimously said that the Goa government would eventually go by the decision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi once the 21-day lockdown ends on April 14.
"I have put my view that Section 144 (of teh Criminal Procedure Code) should be in place till COVID-19 threat is resolved. We support the Chief Minister about whatever decision he takes. We are all firm that the lockdown should continue," Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said.
Ports Minister Michael Lobo also said he had recommended an extension of the lockdown by 15 days and continuance of impostion of prohibitory orders that bans assembly of four or more persons for another six months.
"Even after the extended lockdown ends, social distancing will have to be maintained for another six months. Section 144 should continue at the same time, even after the lockdown ends," Lobo said.
The Minister also said that the government has to consider re-opening the tourism industry after the lockdown, with proper protocols in place, because it was the primary bread-earner for Goa people.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said the Goa cabinet had given the carte blanche to the Prime Minister to decide on the course of action to be taken after April 14.
The Chief Minister said he would be taking part in a teleconference with Modi on April 11, where he will convey the state government's action plan to the Centre.
"I cannot say for now what will be opened and what will be closed after April 14. We will send our recommendation to the Prime Minister and the central guidelines will be followed," Sawant said.
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