Other States

Chaos in Goa as grocery shops reopen after five-day shutdown

Safe space: Police monitor a queue of customers at Taleigaon on Friday.

Safe space: Police monitor a queue of customers at Taleigaon on Friday.   | Photo Credit: Atish Pomburfekar

State issues list of pharmacies that will supply medicines

As shops opened in Goa after five days on Friday, there was chaos across the State, with people paying no heed to social distancing.

The State government, which wanted to implement a 100% lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, has only allowed small stores, permitting bigger ones to only provide home delivery from Saturday.

Till Thursday, the government had said all shops would be shut and people would be supplied essentials at their doorstep after working out a system. This, however, was met with opposition from political parties and a section of the public, who accused the government of acting in an unplanned manner.

Inspector General of Police, Goa, Jaspal Singh said citizens should not to take vehicles to grocery shops, as it would hinder formation queues and social distancing. “People should not rush to buy groceries as shops will remain open during the lockdown. Violators of the vehicle advisory will be punished,” Mr. Singh said.

Businessman Dayne Fernandes, who runs two supermarkets in North Goa’s Mapusa, said, “I am hesitant to open the stores as it will put me and my staff at risk. But if my competitors open up, I will be forced to do the same.” He said there was plenty of stock and he would be happy to supply essentials if the government helped on the logistics front.

On Friday, the government also issued a list of pharmacies which will supply medicines to citizens.

After three COVID-19 cases in the State, the government said it is taking multiple steps to tackle the pandemic. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said five quarantine centres have been set up in North Goa and four in South Goa. “Those who have come from neighbouring States should quarantine themselves,” he said.

Health Minister Viswajit Rane said the government has opened shops, but it was for the people to maintain distancing. “The Health Department plans to get retired doctors on board to tackle this emergency. The government is also taking over two private hospitals as quarantine facilities,” he said.

Virology lab ready

The CM said the government has set up its own virology lab and it will start receiving reports on Saturday. The lab has been set up by the Directorate of Health Services, which sent a team to NIV, Pune for training.

HC disposes of PIL

The government told the High Court of Bombay at Goa that it has allowed grocery shops to open to cater to people’s need. Disposing of a PIL seeking directions to the government to have the police maintain adequate distance among buyers, the HC said the government should explore the possibility of home delivery.

Navy to the rescue

The Navy deployed an IL-38 aircraft to transport 60,000 face masks to Goa from Delhi. The shipment ordered by the Indian Medical Association, Goa, was stuck in Delhi due to the lockdown.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 9:15:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/chaos-in-goa-as-grocery-shops-reopen-after-five-day-shutdown/article31188180.ece

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