Panaji:Goa will remain under a complete lockdown until March 31 as a precautionary measure against COVID-19, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Tuesday, adding that "we can survive without food for a few days, on account of the emergency".
Sawant said that his government understood that people would be under duress due to the decision, but added that the measure had to be taken in order to rein in the possible spread of the virus in the state, where not a single positive case has been reported yet.
"We have reached a decision, that from tonight there will be a 100 per cent lockdown and 100 per cent curfew (under the Epidemic Act). No shop shall be open. Only emergency services will function," Sawant said, after a meeting of the state cabinet, also acknowledging the hardship people would have to go through on account of the decision.
"We can survive without food for a few days. We will manage. We should see what the situation is and what we are going through," he also said.
The Chief Minister also said, that not even milk would be available over the next two days and added that the district administration would work out a mechanism to supply groceries in the duration of the lockdown, adding that the state government was also mulling a home delivery system of groceries in case of emergencies.
Sawant urged the people of Goa to take the curfew seriously, adding that those violating the provisions of the curfew would be arrested and dealt with according to law.
Special curfew passes would be allotted to government servants providing emergency services, the Chief Minister, also stating that some media persons would also be allotted curfew passes.
The Chief Minister also said that people who have travelled to Goa from Pune and Mumbai posed a health risk and should get themselves either tested or stay in home quarantine.
The Chief Minister who also addressed a meeting of all MLAs as well as an-all party conference to brief them about the measures being taken by the state government, said that a high level committee with full powers had been formed by his government to tackle the threat posed by COVID-19.