Goa to utilise RS 120 cr more for COVID-19 facilities

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Panaji: The Goa government on Tuesday decided to utilise Rs 120 crore out of Rs 400 crore from the Goa Iron Ore Permanent Fund for COVID hospital and other related disaster management facilities.

The government on Monday had decided to utilise Rs 52 crore from the district mineral fund for the same purpose after a nod from the Union Ministry of Mines.

Addressing media persons on Tuesday at his official residence, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that the government has decided to utilise 30 per cent fund from the Goa Iron Ore Permanent Fund for COVID hospital and other related medical as well as disaster management facilities in the state.

Sawant also informed that the government will start putting up stickers from Wednesday on those houses with home quarantined people.

“The decision to put up stickers on the houses, which have home quarantined people, so as to alert the other people in the residential areas or villages. These home quarantined people are just suspected cases. So, one should not take it negatively,” he clarified.

The Chief Minister also said that the government is very much concerned about seafarers who have been stranded in various parts of the world and he is in touch with the Union Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs to help them in difficult times.

“MLAs Churchill Alemao and Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco have raised the issue of seafarers before the government. I have personally taken up this issue with the central government. I am in touch with the Union Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs and further trying to get in contact with embassies of concerned countries where these seafarers have been stranded or are working,” he said.

Sawant said that as per the Goa Seafarers Association around 7,000 to 8,000 seafarers from Goa are stranded in countries like US, Spain and others and the government is making all efforts to extend support to them.

Sawant further informed that he held a meeting with Public Works Department, the department of municipal administration, Panchayats, Waste Management, Fire Services and other concerned departments with regards to cleanliness drive.

He also said that a meeting with wholesalers was held to streamline supply of grocery items, and resolve cattle feed problems.

Sawant appealed to all private doctors, practitioners, clinics, hospitals to take all precautions and start practicing social distancing.

“If they find symptoms of COVID-19 in any patient then they should refer those cases to GMC,” he added.

The Chief Minister informed that he held video conferencing with the doctors and other medical staff working in COVID hospital in Margao and added that he is happy for them as they are working tirelessly in fight against COVID-19.

The government has taken all care about the medical and other facilities of the medical team that is required, he added.