Goa returnees: Oppn demands white paper on state’s preparedness

Panaji, May 26 (IANS) The opposition in Goa on Tuesday demanded a white paper on the preparedness of the state machinery to handle an expected influx of large number of stuck non-resident Goans and others into the coastal state.

A memorandum submitted to Chief Secretary Parimal Rai by a delegation of opposition MLAs led by former Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai demanded a customised SOP for Goa to allow stranded natives to be given priority to return as well as free quarantine facilities for seafarer, who have already returned or are expected to come back in the coming weeks.

“In the white paper we have demanded to know the state's preparedness to handle stranded persons who are expected to return to Goa. It should detail the critical health infrastructure got ready in the state, including availability of ventilators and PPE, ICU facilities etc,” Sardesai, an MLA of the Goa Forward Party, told reporters at the state Secretariat.

Sardesai said that it was unfair that seafarers and other Goans expected to return were expected to stay in paid quarantine facilities, while persons not of Goan origins and allowed access to the coastal state were allowed to stay in home quarantine.

“The government claims this is as per the Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines. We have demanded that the state government formulate an SOP specific to Goa,” Sardesai said.

“There should be no discrimination. Currently, Goan seafarers have to compulsorily stay in paid quarantine facilities according to the standard SOP, while non-Goans visiting Goa are being given the option of home quarantine. This is unfair,” Sardesai said.

Goa currently has 48 active coronavirus cases.



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