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Have separate SOP for Goa, favourable for ethnic Goans, demands GFP, Congress

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Porvorim: Goa opposition MLAs on Tuesday met State Chief Secretary demanding that separate Special Operating Procedure (SOP) be framed for the coastal which will do away with the paid quarantine for the Goans who are working on different ships.

The opposition MLAs including Goa Forward Party’s Vijai Sardesai, Jayesh Salgaonkar and Congress’ Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco met Chief Secretary Parimal Rai on Tuesday at state secretariat near here. The delegation of MLAs presented a memorandum to the Chief Secretary, listing out various demands.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Sardesai accused Pramod Sawant-led government of being “discriminatory” towards ethnic Goans while offering red-carpet to the non-Goans who enter the State during the lockdown.

He said that the Goans who work as crew on different ships, after their return, have to go through paid quarantine facility, while non-Goans are kept in free facilities, and also allowed to go home without screening.

“Why this discrimination is being meted out to Goans. We demanded that the quarantine facility be made free of cost,” he said.

Sardesai said that the persons working on ship already go through quarantine of 14 days, while for two months they are stranded on the ships, away from the contacts of others.

He said that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs have given right to State government to have their own SOPs, tailor-made for respective states.

Sardesai said that the Goans working on the ships and also those who are stranded abroad without jobs and want to return to their home, should be treated on par with the people in “distress.”

The delegation also demanded that the State government should provide “White Paper” on state’s preparedness to tackle any further spike in the cases.

Congress MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco said that several Goans, specially in the middle-east, have lost their jobs and want to come back.

“These people are living in the camps as they are no more employed with any company. They should be brought back on priority,” he added.

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