Pramod Sawant. (File Photo: IANS). Image Source: IANS News

Panaji, March 26 : Amid a complete failure of the state government to facilitate home delivery of essential supplies to people over the last 24 hours, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Thursday is scheduled to meet owners of grocery stores and supermarkets to formulate a plan to allow people access to essential commodities.

Earlier on Thursday, the state Health authorities also managed to track down and quarantine 14 "high risk" persons who were in contact with the three persons, who tested positive for COVID-19 late on Wednesday.

"At 1 pm today, CM Dr. Sawant will be holding meeting of all major players in grocery sector like super market operators, major grocery shop owners to work out plan on supply of essential commodities," a statement issued by the Chief Minister's office said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Sawant had said that the 21-day curfew imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be imposed in-toto and even grocery stores would not be open, which triggered panic in Goa.

Sawant had said that home delivery networks would be opened in Goa with the help of volunteers and government-endorsed ration store owners and delivery of milk too would be home delivered.

On Thursday however, the announcement made by the CM came a cropper, with either the home delivery helpline numbers not functioning or the milk booths which were authorised to dispatch home deliveries unable to deal with the demand from a frantic populace.

Several instance of police beating up people scouting for grocery stores as well as pharmacies was also reported over the last two days. "Despite instructions from the central government out incompetent CM has no clue on how to tackle the situation. Police lathicharged people who had gathered at a grocery shop which was partially open. How will people survive with no access to essential commodities," state Congress president Girish Chodankar said.

On Wednesday, Goa reported its first instance of a COVID-19 positive case, after three persons, who had returned from overseas trips, tested positive. According to the Directorate of Health Services, 14 persons who were in touch with the three COVID-19 positive patients have been quarantined.

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