Casinos, pubs, other public places ordered closed in Goa

Situation will be reviewed at the end of this month: Chief Minister

March 15, 2020 02:18 am | Updated 09:10 am IST - Panaji:

Team ATK FC arrives ahead of the Hero Indian Super League 2019-20 football final with Chennaiyin FC, at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Margao, on Saturday. The match was played in an empty stadium .

Team ATK FC arrives ahead of the Hero Indian Super League 2019-20 football final with Chennaiyin FC, at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Margao, on Saturday. The match was played in an empty stadium .

The Goa government on Saturday announced closure of educational institutions and public places including casinos, swimming pools and pubs in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in the country till March 31.

The order will come into force from Sunday (March 15) midnight.

No confirmed coronavirus case has been reported from the coastal State as yet.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Saturday chaired a high-level meeting attended by health minister Vishwajit Rane and other officials.

After the meeting, Mr. Sawant announced a slew of preventive measures.

Schools and other educational establishments will be closed till March 31, while the examinations of the Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education for Class X and XII will take place as per schedule, he said.

Public swimming pools, cinema halls and casinos would be closed. The order will be reviewed at the end of this month, the CM added.

While the State does not have a single confirmed case of coronavirus, one suspected patient remains quarantined at the Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) and some 30 others are in home isolation.

On Friday, Mr. Rane had said that his department had invoked the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1987, which empowers the government to ban mass gatherings.

Mr. Sawant, meanwhile, said that the March 22 Zilla Panchayat elections in the State will be held as per schedule, but candidates should avoid mass gatherings and indoor meetings.

The coronavirus outbreak and resultant closure of public places will have a huge impact on the tourism industry but the preventive measures are unavoidable, he said.

Among other steps, thermal guns at Goa airport would be replaced with a thermal scanner and all international and domestic passengers will be screened with this to spot possible carriers, Mr. Sawant said.

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