Panaji: Goa government on Friday has allowed free quarantine facility for the Goans who arrive from other states, while those locals who are brought in from different ships across the globe would have to pay to avail the facility.
Goa Seaman Association of India (GSAI), a body representing locals who are stranded on different ships, have said that it was unfair on the part of Pramod Sawant-led government to differentiate between its citizens.
Goa Administration, in an order issued on Friday, said “all persons entering into Goa state including Seafarers (Goans working on different ships) who sign off at any Indian port will be sent to institutional quarantine centre for testing on arrival. If tested positive, they will be shifted to the Covid hospital. as per existing protocol.”
“All Indian nationals, if tested negative will undergo mandatory institutional quaratine at their own cost or in the case of Seafarers, the cost to be paid by their company, for a minimum period of 14 days on arrival in India by flights/ships,” the order reads.
The order, however, has said that free quarantine facility would be provided to persons stranded outside Goa within the country during the lockdown period.
GSAI Founder President Dixon Vaz, in a statement released here, has said “locals working on different ships are very much disappointed with the latest order where the government decided to charge the seafarers for quarantine services for 14 days when they arrive in Goa.”
“As per the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), the Union Ministry of Home Affairs clearly says that if a person tested negative for COVID19 after arrival in the country, he or she will be stamped for home quarantine,” Vaz said.
“However, in Goa, the government have set up their own rules which makes it mandatory for those who were stranded on the ship, to be sent for paid quarantine, which is totally against the guidelines,” he added.
Vaz said that state government’s order is very discriminatory and unfair for the locals who worked on the ships and arriving in their own country.
The local opposition parties including Goa Forward Party and Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte had met Governor on Friday urging that the persons who arrive from the ship, should not be charged for availing quarantine facility.