Don’t reopen Goa casinos until pandemic is curbed: Youth Congress
Panaji: The Youth Congress in Goa on Friday demanded that casinos should not be allowed to reopen in the state until the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is brought under control.
In a memorandum addressed to Goa Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, state Youth Congress President Varad Mardolkar has also said that reopening of the casino industry in the state could lead to easy spread of Covid-19 cases, because the gaming floors in the casinos — both offshore and onshore — are normally packed with people and staffers.
“Reopening of casinos is nothing but an open invitation to the corona pandemic and the Youth Congress strongly demands that the government should not play with the lives of common Goan people just to earn revenues,” Mardolkar said in his representation to the Governor on Friday.
“As our state has not totally recovered from the coronavirus onslaught yet, it is highly advisable to restrict free movement of people in large numbers to curb the spread of the virus. In such a situation, reopening of casinos in the Mandovi river will give an open invitation to the corona pandemic,” Mardolkar said.
On Wednesday, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had announced the reopening of casinos from November 1. Sawant had said that the decision was been taken to re-energise the coastal state’s tourism sector, while adding that casino operations would be allowed only at 50 per cent capacity and following the implementation and observance of all state and Central government SOPs.
Goa has six operational offshore casinos, which are anchored in the Mandovi river off Panaji and around 10 onshore casinos operating from the numerous five-star resorts located in the state’s coastal belt.
Goa currently has 2,436 active Covid-19 cases, while the total tally of confirmed cases in the state stands at 43,201. As many as 597 persons have died in the state after testing positive for Covid-19.