On Wednesday evening, an alert check on border post isolated a family of 5 arriving from Maharashtra to Goa and another two truck drivers from Gujarat for potential COVID threat as per the media reports. While the reports are awaited from Virology lab in GMC, here’s one thing to ponder about, as vehicular movements from other states are increasing and many people stranded in other states trying to come home, shouldn’t Goa and Goans living here be on alert?
DID WE RUSH TO MAKE THINGS NORMAL IN GOA?
Following the reopening of Government offices, this week many private offices also resumed their work. The crowded buses and the rush on roads were the testimony of haste that was shown despite the outbreak of the pandemic in our neighbouring states. A lot of people are complaining of private buses crowding up like earlier days. When drivers and conductors are asked question, they respond to either travel at own risk or step down from the bus.
CROWDED BUSES: YES OR NOT?
On Monday, a video of a crowded Kadamba bus plying from Mapusa to Panaji made rounds on social media. With limited buses plying on roads, the commuters claim they often have no option but to board the bus even if it is crowded. So why would Government open offices and leave the issue of transport on workers when the majority of us are dependent on a public mode of transport. Shouldn’t the Government come up with the advisory for bus drivers to follow (private and public) and the violators face strict action?
INCOMING GOANS- RELIEF AND WORRY
There are many Goans in other parts of the country waiting to come back home. A train that left from Delhi to Goa on Wednesday came as a huge relief for stranded Goans there. Many others are entering the state through private vehicles from neighbouring areas as well. But looking at the worrying scenario in neighbouring scenes and India overall in terms of COVID outbreak, shouldn’t we be more cautious instead of being almost callous?
SSC/HSSC EXAMS: A PERTINENT ISSUE
Amidst the threat looming large and tougher days ahead, the most controversial decision is perhaps the announcement of board exams. The state government is firm that Board will conduct the Class X examination from May 21 to June 6 and exams for three remaining papers of Class XII will be held from May 20 to May 22. The apprehensive parents in their petition have demanded that the government appoint a committee of qualified persons from the fields of medicine/health care and education, to further look at the possibilities and safety of the kids.
While taking precautions for COVID is individual’s responsibility, the administration must have guidelines that ensure the safety of people commuting in buses, people working in private companies and even in the case of examination, the advisory must be for each one to follow. Any violation will risk lives leading to further trouble. Goa has tackled first round of COVID cases. But here seems another challenge before us, let’s not underestimate the threat. As long as there are cases in the country, each state must be guarded first by its government and its people.