In an attempt to ensure widespread and hastened COVID vaccination drives in Goa, the state government has decided to initiate 'Tika Utsav'. With an aim to increase the accessibility of vaccines for citizens over the age of 45, this program was announced by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, on Friday. Slated to be held over a period of four days from April 11 to 14, 'Tika Utsav' in Goa will witness COVID immunisation drives at the panchayat level.
'Tika Utsav' to be marked in all village panchayats
"Goa will hold 'Tika Utsav' across the state from April 11-14, 2021. The vaccination drive will be undertaken at the panchayat level for maximum coverage," informed the Chief Minister. This decision was undertaken after the state observed an alarming hike in the COVID numbers through the past weeks. If the vaccination drive is completed for all individuals above 45, almost 50% of the state's population would be inoculated.
Recently, the Prime Minister had summoned a virtual conference with the Chief Ministers and asked them to undertake steps that would motivate the citizens to take the COVID vaccine jab. Therein, he also instructed the state authorities to execute measures for increasing testing and contact tracing in order to control an unchecked spread of the virus.
CM rules out lockdown or night curfew for Goa
'Tika Utsav' will be marked in all village panchayats across the state. The CM reassured that there are sufficient infrastructural facilities for this purpose. He emphasised that amplified vaccination drives and strict adherence to precautionary guidelines are the only way to fight the COVID virus. A lockdown cannot be a long-term solution to this end.
In addition to this, the CM also negated the possibility of an impending night curfew. Given the fact that Goa is a significant hub for tourism, a night curfew cannot be considered a viable alternative. However, the CM has asked the citizens to ensure their safety by being at home and not stepping out unnecessarily.
COVID numbers in Goa spiraling up high!
Goa recorded the year's highest COVID count of 582 cases taking the active tally to 3,331 on Thursday. Through the past week, the daily spike outnumbered itself repetitively and the cumulative number of COVID-affected individuals escalated to 60,811 on Thursday. Given these figures, the state's interventions to expand the coverage of vaccination becomes necessary.