Admin errors, opening tourism led to Goa Covid surge: Minister

Panaji, May 8 (IANS) Administrative errors and opening up for tourism sans restrictions, has propped Goa to the top of the national charts in terms of Covid positivity rate, Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane has said.

In an interview to CNN late on Friday, Rane, also said that the coastal state was just about managing the Covid crisis, and said that he was not very happy with the Covid management situation in the state.

Rane stated that the lockdown, which has been ordered by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant from May 9, should have been implemented a month back.

“This should have come much earlier. If you go through my tweets, I had suggested that we go in for a stringent lockdown about more than 15 days back. Fifteen days back was also too late because we needed this lockdown for more than a month back,” Rane said in the interview.

“Sometimes, administratively, economically you need to take decisions which have a balance. And many times we as administrators holding positions, sometimes make some errors in judgement and this is one of those cases, where we have made some errors in judgement and the cases have spread…” Rane also said.

Rane has been part of a running feud with Sawant over Covid management issues and the differences between the two has spilled out in the open several times over the last few months.

Rane also said that the decision of the state administration to allow full fledged tourism activity, in absence of restrictions, had led to the surge in Covid cases.

“Opening up of tourism without any restrictions in December has led to the situation in the state of Goa…” Rane said.

“Thousands of people (were) coming in. (There were) less restrictions at that point of time. We had the whole of India coming into the state of Goa in the months of December, January, February and I had already alerted out health authorities that we need to be prepared, because we are already going to face (a) situation at some point of time,” Rane also said.

Goa currently has a positivity rate of more than 51 per cent, the highest in the country.

On Friday alone, out of the 8,170 persons tested, 4,195 persons tested positive for Covid-19.

The state currently has 31,716 active cases, while 1,557 persons have died due to Covid-19 related complications.