Goa's Ports Minister Michael Lobo on Friday said that the state government should ban the entry of persons coming to Goa from Maharashtra for a minimum period of 15 days on account of the spike in COVID-19 cases.
Lobo said that he would be requesting Chief Minister Pramod Sawant in writing, adding that nearly 90 per cent of the COVID-19 cases in Goa are related to persons with a travel history from Maharashtra.
"Goa was totally in the green zone and we are still in the green zone as far as the state is concerned. Only we are getting the maximum number of people from Maharashtra and a few from Delhi, who have the virus," the Minister told reporters here.
"Now my demand to the CM of Goa is and I will give it in writing also, that you ban the entry of people from Maharashtra. I am not against the people of Maharashtra, but the ban is necessary for a certain period, say 15 days," Lobo said.
"Entry to the people from Maharashtra to Goa should be banned by road, by rail and air travel. If you want to stop more COVID-19 patients coming in to Goa we have to ban their entry. This is the only solution, because there is transmission of the COVID-19 virus in Maharashtra in a big way," he added.
Earlier this week, Sawant had said that his government was actively considering a separate SOP for persons coming to Goa from Maharashtra, because 90 per cent of the state's COVID-19 patients had a travel history from the neighbouring state.
The move was later dropped, after Goa made testing of all persons entering the state mandatory.
Lobo however said that with the monsoon looming and the unpredictable nature of COVID-19, it was best to take early precautions, especially vis a vis persons entering Goa from Maharashtra.
"There is no transmission from Goa. But if these people (from Maharashtra) keep on coming (into Goa), there will be transmission. We do not know how the virus is going to react in the rains. Rains are likely scheduled in Goa from June 5, before that if we ban people coming from Maharashtra, we will get major relief," Lobo said.
Currently, the state has 31 active COVID-19 cases.
( With inputs from IANS )