Predicting a spike in COVID-19 cases in January, state Health Minister Vishwajit Rane today appealed to tourists to take precautions, as "Goa is not a banana republic".
Addressing the media after chairing a high-level meeting, the minister said despite repeated appeals to wear masks and practise social distancing, people have not been taking precautions.
Mr Rane predicted a spike in infections in January due to the recently held New Year celebrations and influx of tourists in the coastal state.
"Tourists should realise that although they are here to enjoy, they must follow safety measures. I saw that 60 per cent of the people at the airport were not wearing masks," the minister said.
"We need to be cautious as a state. We want people of Goa to be safe. Business activities should continue, but people need to exercise caution. Goa is not a banana republic," he said.
The minister further said night clubs will have to ensure strict implementation of the standard operating procedure (SOP), or else action will be taken against them.
He further said the health department will propose to increase the penalty for not wearing masks to Rs 500.
By not abiding by the Standard Operating Procedures, people are putting life of others including doctors and health workers at risk and burdening the health infrastructure in the state.
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