The suspension of inbound flights from the UK due to the emergence of a new, highly infectious Covid-19 strain in the island nation, will have an impact on tourism in Goa, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Sawant also said that the flights from other countries affected by the second wave of Covid-19 may also be cancelled over the next few days.
"Of course it will impact (tourism). Today, UK flights have been cancelled," Sawant said, when asked if the temporary ban on flights from the UK would impact the tourism sector in Goa. After Russia, UK ranks second in the list of countries as far as international tourist footfalls in Goa are concerned.
"It could be that flights from other countries could also be cancelled. Considering that the second wave has emerged in other countries, we will also have to take some precautions," Sawant also said.
India, on Monday, announced a temporary ban on flights coming from the UK till 11.59 p.m. on December 31. The suspension commences from 11.59 p.m. on December 22.
According to officials at Goa's Dabolim international airport, four flights from the UK to Goa have been cancelled on account of the ban.
With the emergence of a new, more infectious strain of Covid-19, Sawant also urged Goans to maintain social distancing, wear masks and carry out Covid-19 tests early, stating that late testing by infected persons was one of the major reasons for deaths of Covid-19 infected persons in the state.
"Even today, the deaths are occuring due to delay. People do not test for eight to ten days and then the infection hits the lungs, then there are complications and deaths. Precautions and testing is a must," Sawant said. More than 50,000 persons have tested positive for novel coronavirus in Goa since March, while 723 persons have died after testing positive in the coastal state.
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