Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday said if no new COVID-19 cases were reported in the next three days, then by April 17 the State could become a green zone and restrictions could be eased with caution and social distancing.
Announcing the deferment of the opening of government offices by five days to April 20, Mr. Sawant said of the seven positive cases detected, five had recovered while two were under treatment.
All the cases detected are from North Goa district, which at present has been declared a red zone by the Union Health Ministry, while South Goa is already a green zone.
Mr. Sawant said no new positive case had been reported in Goa since April 4. “South Goa district has already been declared a green zone (no COVID-19 case) as per the Central guidelines. If there are no more detection, then North Goa will also become a green zone by April 17.”
The CM said vigilance at the State borders had been beefed up in view of neighbouring Sindhudurg district in Maharashtra being classified as a orange zone and Belgavi in Karnataka reporting positive patients. “We have already sealed the borders except for medical emergencies and transportation of essential goods. Sanitisation tunnels once approved by the Centre will be set up at all border check-posts,” he said.
Urging people to continue cooperation with the government during the extended lockdown till May 3, the CM said all government offices, which were scheduled to start functioning after April 14, would now open on April 20.
Mr. Sawant also said the government would decide on granting relaxations to industries during the lockdown only after the Centre releases guidelines on Wednesday.
“As part of our efforts aimed at reviving the economic activity, the State government is working towards making each of the village panchayats and municipalities economically self-sustainable, depending on the assets under its jurisdiction,” he said, announcing a grant of ₹25,000 to each panchayat to help the poor.