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Thursday, 25 March, 2021, 10 : 45 AM [IST]

Goa CM rules out making Covid test mandatory on arrival

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday ruled out making Covid-19 testing mandatory for those entering the state saying that such a move could lead to shuttering to economic activity which the state couldn’t afford.

On Monday, state Health Minister Vishwajit Rane told the media that he had ‘sent a file’ to the Chief Minister seeking that all arrivals into the state should either bring a negative certificate on arrival or be tested upon arrival in view of the increasing cases.

“Yesterday there were 84 cases, prior to that there were 100. We should all take care including tourists coming to the state. We cannot once again close all economic activity. We have ramped up testing and am requesting all to maintain social distancing and use masks,” Sawant said.

“I am in constant touch with the Health Minister. For now there is no decision to be taken (regarding testing on arrival) except that we will test on a bigger scale. Those who have signs and symptoms should get themselves tested and those who are eligible should get vaccinated,” Sawant said.

“There are several neighbouring states such as Kerala, Maharashtra Karmnataka who have made it mandatory for people from Goa flying into those states to carry Covid-19 negative certificates, without which they don’t allow them entry into the states,” Rane had said on Monday.

“We need to make Covid-19 negative certificates mandatory for people from other states, which already have such restrictions in place. The trouble has started from these states. They have put us in trouble. I am personally in favour of testing at the airport and on arrival. The proposal will be put before the Chief Minister,” Rane said.

Goa has witnessed an uptick in cases and a rise in the number of active cases that now stand at 1017. The number of active cases was less than 700 a few weeks ago.

The state’s tourism industry had expressed apprehensions that any restriction on arrival to the state would further dampen the already weak enthusiasm for travelling.

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