‘Goa govt has failed to manage COVID-19; set up panel to tackle situation’

The Goa Congress on Sunday slammed the ruling politicians and bureaucrats for “failing” to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and demanded setting up of a panel of government and private doctors to manage the coronavirus situation in the state.

The Oppostion’s demands comes days after Goa Governor Satya Pal Malik picked flaws in efforts made by the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant-led administration in its tackling of the pandemic, besides stating that the government had made a “judgemental error” in not locking down the port town of Vasco in South Goa, where a maximum of 1,000 active cases have been reported.

“The bureaucracy and the politicians have failed to handle the situation. The government should now set up a panel of professional doctors from the state health services as well as the private sector and take proper suggestions from them on COVID-19 management,” Congress spokesperson Trajano D’Mello told reporters here.

“This is a matter of life and death. We have seen enough trial and error methods now by politicians and bureaucrats. COVID-19 management should not be left to the professionals,” D’Mello said.

Citing an example, the Congress spokesperson said that while a lockdown had been imposed once again by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant from Friday (July 17) to early Monday morning (July 20) restricting movements, with exceptions for essential and medical services and industrial workers, inbound tourists were free to visit Goa.

“What kind of a lockdown is this where residents are locked in, but tourists are allowed to arrive in the state? The very purpose of a lockdown is defeated,” D’Mello said.

Road and air travellers to Goa were allowed to enter the state during the lockdown in view of unclear directives in the administrative order enforcing the curb for three days.