Goa, which is already a designated green zone with no active COVID-19 case, is ready to welcome tourists, but considering the situation in many parts of the country re-starting tourism activities will take some time, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Tuesday.
In his live interaction on Facebook organized by the state government”s Directorate of Information and Publicity, Sawant said that efforts need to be made by the residents of the state to nip rumour-mongering about fake COVID-19 cases in the bud.
Sawant said tourism-related standard operating procedures would be in place by the time the country reaches the lockdown 4.0 stage.
“We are ready to welcome tourists. But if one takes note of the situation in the country, it appears that we will have to wait for sometime. We are willing to say welcome to tourists, but they should be willing to come,” Sawant said during the live interaction.
The Chief Minister said that Goa, which is one of the few designated green zones in the country with no single active COVID-19 case in the state, was “wary” about the possible entry of positive coronavirus cases.
He added that a SOP would be formulated soon by the state and said the Goa government was looking forward to the release of a similar SOP dealing with protocol related to inbound tourists, by the Union Tourism Ministry.
The Chief Minister said that out of the 14,000 odd foreign tourists who had been repatriated from the country during the pandemic, nearly 7,000 flew out of India from Goa alone.
Commenting on several rumours doing the rounds on social media, fuelling speculation about fake COVID-19 cases, Sawant said: “I urge people not to start rumours. They should think about the veracity of the messages before forwarding them. When a disaster is ongoing such rumours should not be spread.”
The Chief Minister urged the people to follow the instructions of the State Executive Committee, which oversees the management and relief work related to the pandemic, instead of criticising every decision.
“People should follow instructions which are being given for the good of the state and people at large. Do not pick holes in them and ask ”why” every time,” Sawant said.
“Many people believe in simply criticising (decisions), rather than co-operating with them. Instead of criticising, there is a need to co-operate with the government,” the Chief Minister said.