With Goa witnessing a huge influx of people in the last couple of days, the Pramod Sawant government is planning to go back to its previous system of issuing travel passes that require approval by authorities, in place of the self-generated e-passes introduced earlier this week, a minister has said.
As those who enter the state have to undergo COVID-19 test, the arrival of people in large numbers is putting a strain on the medical infrastructure, he said. The issue was discussed during a meeting of the MLAs and office-bearers of the ruling BJP held at the residence of chief minister on Friday.
State Health Minister Vishwajit Rane, who took part in the meeting, told reporters that it was discussed that travel passes need to be reintroduced in place of the self-generated e-passes.
"The state witnessed a huge inflow of people in the last few days. We need to cap the number of arrivals in the state. Once the travel pass system is introduced, the health authorities will know how many people are going to arrive on a particular day," he said.
As per the previous system, district collectors would issue travel passes to people if they wanted to enter the state.
State BJP President Sadanand Tanavade, who also attended the meeting, said the state government might revert to the earlier practice in which people had to apply for the travel passes and get approval by the authorities.
However, no decision to that effect has been taken yet, he said.
"There is a tremendous inflow of people, due to which there is a stress on COVID-19 testing infrastructure in the state," he said.
The Goa cabinet had on Wednesday made it compulsory for everyone entering the state to either get themselves tested or carry COVID-19 negative certificate. On the same day, the chief minister had launched the self-generated e-pass system, in which those entering the state could apply online for e-pass without having to wait for the approval of authorities.