State Health Minister Vishwajit Rane says night curfew likely in Goa; CM Sawant says no decision

In a statement issued on Thursday morning, Mr. Rane said he has discussed with the Chief Minister the issue of imposing a night curfew in the State.

Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane on Thursday said that a night curfew is likely to be imposed in the State, even as Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that no decision to that effect has been taken so far.

In a statement issued on Thursday morning, Mr. Rane said he has discussed with the Chief Minister the issue of imposing a night curfew in the State.

“I have spoken to the Chief Minister on imposing night curfew in Goa on the lines of Delhi and Karnataka. The file is already in the process,” he said in the statement.

Mr. Rane said the file was moved after his Department received a letter from the Union Health Ministry, suggesting that in view of the New Year celebrations, each State should ensure that SOPs and strict protocols are laid down after a review of the coronavirus situation at the local level.

He said the file about imposing a night curfew was pending with the Chief Minister.

However, talking to the PTI later in the day, Chief Minister Sawant said, “The State government has not taken any decision about night curfew yet.” Earlier in the day, a senior Goa Health Department official said that in a letter sent to the State government on Thursday, the Union Health Ministry asked it impose COVID-19 restrictions.

In the letter, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan called for a strict vigil in Goa to curb all potential ‘super spreader’ events and places where crowds may gather to celebrate the New Year, the official said.

The Ministry also referred to its earlier communication, wherein it had said that States and Union Territories may impose restrictions, such as night curfew, at the local level based on their assessment of the COVID-19 situation.

“However, there shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. In view of the matter, you may promptly assess the local situation and consider imposition of appropriate restrictions on December 30 and 31 and January 1, 2021,” the letter said.

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