Amid a recent surge in Covid-19 cases in Goa, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Sunday urged people to stop visiting friends and neighbours and unnecessary social interaction, in order to stem the record spike in cases.

Addressing a press conference in Panaji on Sunday, Sawant also said that the precaution was necessary in the wake of a possible increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in view of the monsoon.

“We are used to visiting people’s homes. Even in such times, people are being invited for birthdays, other functions. This has to stop for some time,” Sawant told reporters.

“Stop visiting each other’s homes, even neighbours. We should not attend functions. We should not also call people home. You never know when asymptomatic persons can spread virus,” Sawant further said, adding that vulnerable senior citizens often faced the brunt of the careless and unnecessary social interaction.

Asked whether the appeal made by him to stop social interaction in view of the spike in cases, was in contrast to the state government’s decision to restart the tourism industry last week, Sawant said that tourists were allowed in the state after following due protocol and testing.

Sawant also said that there was immense pressure from the tourism industry, but added that he was not very confident about the response.

“There was a big pressure from the tourism industry on the government to start the industry. How many tourists will come (to Goa) or not come… it is up to tourists. Perhaps the response will be less,” Sawant said.

On Saturday, Goa recorded the highest number of Covid-19 positive cases in the state, with more than 100 cases reported, taking the tally of active cases in the state to 853.

Sawant also said that his cabinet ministers had been instructed to lead awareness campaigns and oversee Covid-19 management efforts in specific sub districts.