Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Monday slammed heads of local civic bodies for imposing their own curfews for “sake of publicity”, while also urging them to get local residents vaccinated on war-footing to dent the ongoing surge in Covid-19 cases in the state.
Addressing elected members of village panchayat, zilla panchayat and municipalities, via video conference, he also said that politics should be kept aside in the ongoing battle against the rapid spread of the pandemic.
“Many people have taken meetings, posed for photos, and ordered lockdowns. Everyone declared their own lockdowns. Some (MLAs) even locked down their entire constituencies. I do not understand how one can lock down constituencies. Some locked down panchayats, others locked down municipalities,” Sawant said, days after more than 20 village panchayats as well as municipalities imposed sporadic “lockdowns” amid a surge in Covid cases in the state.
The local lockdowns came at a time when the state government had imposed statewide restrictions on movement, before eventually imposing a 14-day lockdown last week.
Sawant said that heads of local bodies should not think that just by imposing unplanned lockdowns, Covid can be wished away.
“Does our work end by imposing a lockdown and getting publicity,” he asked.
The Chief Minister also said that he was not concerned about criticism of his Covid management policies.
“Such a pandemic occurred 100 years ago. We do not know what happened during the pandemic then. There was no social media to criticise. Criticism does not bother me. Our target is to save people,” he said.
He also urged representatives elected to local bodies to get at least 10 persons vaccinated every day.
Goa is in the grips of an unprecedented rise in Covid-19 cases. The state currently has 31,875 active cases, while 1,679 persons have died so far due to Covid-related complications.