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Goa CM warns of jail for violation of quarantine breach

Press Trust of India  |  Panaji 

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday warned that those who are found to be roaming on streets despite having been advised home quarantine due to suspected coronavirus infection would be jailed.

Since morning, barring hospitals and pharmacies, all commercial establishments in the coastal state remained closed with police patrolling the streets.

As nation-wide lockdown to contain the virus outbreak began, the state government also announced that it would set up a food and medicine helpline for those who can not step out to buy essential things.

Special teams led by magistrates have been formed to catch those who violate home quarantine, Sawant told reporters.

"We have stamped all those who have been advised to remain quarantined at home. If we find anyone roaming outside on the street, they would be taken to police lock-ups or sent to the Central jail for 14 days," he said.

The government has to take these extreme measures to ensure that the epidemic does not spread in Goa, Sawant added.

"We don't have a single positive case of coronavirus infection in the state till now. All our efforts are to ensure that Goa remains coronavirus-free," the chief minister said.

The call for 21-day lockdown given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has received a good response in the state, he said.

"There are some apprehensions about the supply of essential commodities which the government is addressing," Sawant said, adding that people have been asked to volunteer to deliver essential commodities at doorstep.

"Those who are willing to volunteer would be screened for coronavirus infection. Once they are selected, they would be issued passes. They can go around with that pass only within a specified jurisdiction," he said.

If anyone is found misusing the pass, the person would be severely punished, he warned.

The government would launch a food and medicine helpline for those who are living alone or others in need, the chief minister said. Once a person calls the helpline, volunteers would deliver food or medicines at home.

Fair Price Shop owners have been asked to register themselves with the Deputy Collector who will issue them passes, allowing them to deliver groceries and other essential commodities at customers' homes, Sawant said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 25 2020. 16:32 IST