The Goa government will launch ‘Tika Utsav’, a grassroots drive to maximise coverage of the Covid-19 vaccine for people above 45 years, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Friday.

The drive was launched a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a virtual conference with Chief Ministers, urged the states to encourage citizens to get vaccinated.

“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,” Sawant said, even as the state has witnessed a spike in Covid-19 cases over the last few weeks.

“It will be celebrated in Goa in all the village panchayats. We have the infrastructure available halls, etc. The PM has stressed on testing, tracking and asked that we increase the number of testing facilities,” the Chief Minister said, adding that if all people above 45 years get vaccinated, the state would see 50 per cent coverage.

Sawant also said observing SOPs and vaccination was the only solution to the Covid-19 crisis and not a lockdown. The Chief Minister also ruled out the imposition of a night curfew, saying it was not a priority option, considering that Goa is a tourism destination.

“But people should not step out without reason and avoid stepping out at night,” he also said.

A total of 582 persons tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 24 hours in Goa, which now has 3,331 active cases.


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