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'No Pandemic?': It was New Year's Eve as Usual in Goa as People Partied Without Masks

Photo: Twitter

Photo: Twitter

India ushered in the new year on December 31 even as the coronavirus pandemic cast a shadow over the celebrations across the country.

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Buzz Staff

India ushered in the new year on December 31 even as the coronavirus pandemic cast a shadow over the celebrations across the country.

Restrictions such as night curfew was imposed in several cities, including Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, with many people preferring to stay in their homes on the occasion. However, as the celebrations around the country remained subdued, visuals of parties at Goa paint a different picture altogether.

Nnumerous videos and photos have been posted on social media by those present at the parties and others who were horrified by the callousness of partygoers spotted without masks in crowded venues. This is despite reports from November which said that the fine for not wearing masks in public places in Goa has been doubled from Rs 100 to Rs 200.

Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane on Thursday said that a night curfew is likely to be imposed in the state, even as Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that no decision to that effect has been taken so far. In a statement issued on Thursday morning, Rane said he has discussed with the chief minister the issue of imposing a night curfew in the state.

The Health Minister, however, did not specify when its implementation is likely to start.

As per latest reports, thirty-seven passengers out of 979, who travelled from the UK from December 9 till the midnight of December 22, tested positive for Covid-19 in Goa. The state government awaits reports from Pune's National Institute of Virology for confirmation of the mutant strain among the Covid-19 positive passengers.

India's coronavirus caseload is on a downward slope. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday said that India's fatality rate is much lower than other countries. India saw 20,036 new cases of Covid-19 on Friday, and 256 people succumbed to the deadly disease in the last 24 hours, said the latest update from the Health Ministry. Even though India's Covid-19 data seems to be getting better, it would be imprudent to let our guards down right now.

Coronavirus cast a long shadow over tourism in Goa as the coastal state normally bustling with domestic and foreign tourists tried to cope with effects of the pandemic. Goa witnessed perhaps the worst tourist season with international chartered flights cancelled, beach shacks wearing empty looks and local businesses like taxi and bike rentals, dependent on this industry, suffering a body blow.

The coronavirus-induced has cost the state's tourism industry Rs 1,000 crore in earnings, Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry said. A report by the state tourism department and a private consultancy firm said Goa's tourism industry may have suffered loss of between Rs 2,000 to Rs 7,200 crore and job losses in the range of 35 per cent to 58 per cent due to the pandemic.

This is not the first time Goa has drawn criticism for failing to follow Covid protocols. A few weeks ago, a video of singer Lucky Ali's impromptu gig in Goa had gone viral. Ali is seen performing in front a huge audience, who were visibly mesmerised an enchanted by his soothing voice. While people on the Internet are having their fan moment after seeing their favourite singer after a long time, some of them have raised legit concerns.The audience at Lucky Ali's gig are seen huddled together, with no face masks or social distancing in the scene.


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