PANAJI: The Goa government on Tuesday decided to bring non-essential services, including restaurants, under the ambit of the COVID-19 induced restrictions in the state which will remain in force till May 10.
Modifying the previous order issued by the state government on the extent of the restrictions, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant told reporters that non-essential services will remain closed keeping in mind the "sentiments of the people".
Given the alarming rise in cases and alarmingly high positivity rate, the state government had imposed a four-day lockdown in the state, which was lifted on Monday morning but decided to continue the restrictions till May 10.
Several panchayats and municipal areas are voluntarily observing a lockdown in their respective areas even as the government came under fire from Opposition parties led by Congress for lifting the shutdown despite a surge in cases.
Sawant on Tuesday warned the panchayats and municipalities against shutting down the essential services in the name of a lockdown.
"If you shut down essential services, it will cause panic among the people. No panchayat or municipality should shut down the shops selling essential products," he said.
Sawant further said that some panchayats were stopping people from joining their duties.
"Many people are working in hospitals and pharma companies who need to report to their duties," he added.
Goa, a popular tourist hotspot, had reported an extremely high test positivity rate of over 50 per cent on Thursday.
Sawnt had announced on Sunday that various commercial establishments will remain closed while political and social gatherings will be banned till May 10.
Various establishments including casinos, bars, sports complexes, auditoriums, community halls etc remain closed along with river cruises, water parks, entertainment parks, gyms, spas, massage parlours, saloons in the state.
Schools, colleges, and educational institutes also remain closed except for the examination purpose.
Religious places in the state are also closed for the public.
The state's coronavirus caseload went up by 2,703 to reach 98,088 on Monday, while 46 more patients succumbed to the infection, a state health department official said.
The toll mounted to1,320with the addition of 46 new deaths, he said.
Also, 1,255 patients were discharged from hospitals during the day, pushing the number of recovered cases to 70,929, the official said.
The coastal state now has 25,839 active cases, he said.
Goa has been reporting a very high test positivity rate - defined as proportion of samples that return positive among the total tested.
"With 6,013 new COVID-19 tests, the number of tests conducted in the state so far has gone up to 6,69,520, he added.
Goa's COVID-19 figures are as follows: Positive cases 98,088, new cases 2,703, death toll 1,320, discharged 70,929, active cases 25,839, samples tested so far 6,69,520.
The state government had imposed a four-day-long lockdown from April 29 to stem the COVID-19 spread.
The lockdown ended at 6 am on Monday, but Ports Minister Michael Lobo said the coronavirus-induced measure will remain in force in tourist hotspots like Calangute and Candolim in North Goa to break the chain of the viral infection.