The State government awoke to a rude shock with numerous videos of Saturday night parties at popular restaurants and clubs in Calangute, Anjuna and Siolim going viral on social media platforms.
Even as the pandemic rages on, revellers threw caution to the wind and were seen enjoying the music, food and crowded environment in these establishments in complete violation of Covid safety protocols announced by the government.
It may be recalled that following a massive uproar, the state government had recently ordered the police to crack down all such events that held public health to ransom.
The videos of Saturday night parties showed that tourism has indeed taken off from where it was left with a sea of humanity partying the night away in complete violation of social distancing and other safety protocols in place during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Taking cognizance of the serious issue, Health Minister declared that he will recommend the cancellation of the licenses and permissions granted to these establishments to resume business.
“I am really shocked. Under the pandemic Act, I will take action. As per the powers invested in me under the Act, I will also ask for action to be taken. My recommendation when I take up the issue with the Chief Minister will be the cancellation of licenses of these clubs. Every permission given to them should be withdrawn,” he stated.
He further said that although he is for reopening of tourism, partying without social distancing and without face masks is only going to lead to further spikes. “This is not tourism. This is nothing but spreading the virus in a very big way and putting people’s lives at risk and this is not acceptable to me,” he said.
The Health Minister rued that the youngsters seen partying in the videos were taking the grave situation so lightly. “We have got youngsters in the hospitals whom we are giving plasma and treatment and we are losing young people because of the pandemic. This is absolutely not acceptable. People violating the SOPs should have their licenses cancelled with immediate effect,” he asserted.