Nightlife in Goa should not be allowed to resume till the COVID-19 situation in India comes under control, state Ports Minister and BJP leader Michael Lobo said on Monday as he stressed the need to protect the lives of people.
Mr Lobo represents the Calangute Assembly segment which has many nightclubs and bars.
Speaking to reporters, Mr Lobo said it will take another year for the pandemic-hit economy to return to normalcy.
"Goa is a world-famous destination for its nightlife."
"The nightlife has been shut down (due to COVID-19 curbs) and I feel that it should continue to remain closed till the COVID- 19 situation in the country comes under control," he said.
The minister said the lives of people are more important than the economy of Goa.
"We have seen our close friends dying due to COVID- 19."
"We have to be very careful. The economic activity can resume after we see that COVID-19 cases across India are coming under control," he said.
Mr Lobo suggested tourism be opened in a phased manner prioritising those activities which won't trigger transmission of coronavirus.
"When we reopen hotels guests should be asked to carry a COVID-19 negative certificate and they should abide by all the protocols," he added.
Mr Lobo said the pandemic situation in Goa is improving but COVID-19 fatalities will continue to show up in daily charts as many people are currently on ventilators.
As of Sunday, Goa's coronavirus caseload stood at 1,59,393 while the death count stood at 2,760, a health official had said.
The Goa government had last week extended the ongoing coronavirus-induced 'curfew' till June 14.