AYUSH 64: Check out this new launch of a poly herbal formulation developed by the Central Council for Research in Ayurveda Sciences! Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant launched it for free distribution to patients suffering from asymptomatic, mild and moderate Covid-19 infection, at a function held at Patto, Panaji, on May 28, 2021. The function was organised by Ministry of Ayush (government of India), CCRAS, in collaboration with Matrubhoomi Seva Pratishthan Goa. Ayush 64 is an adjunct to standard to standard treatment and it has been approved by IMCS for treating coronavirus infection. Union Minister of Defence Shripad Naik who was present said in India we are lucky to have Ayurvedic medicines. The Ayush medicines were handed over to representatives of various government health units, NGOs, etc. Others present on the occasion included CCRAS Research Officer Dr HK Gupta, Datta Bhat and Milind Mahale.


YOGA guru Baba Ramdev after describing modern medicine as stupid science and allegedly making disparaging remarks against allopathy-practicing Indian doctors has now dared all his critics to arrest him! The reason why this media-created  self-styled “baba” is so daringly issuing such  statements is because he knows that the BJP government will never dare to touch him. He is their brand ambassador and like billionaires Ambanis, Adanis, etc, he funds and endorses their elections in India.

 Ramdev is neither a qualified doctor nor a scientist, but a shrewd  businessman who successfully runs a vast business empire, bullying gullible people with his mediocre duplicate products promising definite solutions, for even some of the most incurable diseases (e.g. cancer) through his Patanjali “Ayurvedic” medicines.

He projects himself as a big sincere, honest,  devoted Hindu spiritual leader wearing saffron robes. But he is a businessman, this Baba Ramdev who understands nothing about modern medicines nor science. He should stop making fun of all our highly educated/qualified Indian doctors, nurses, modern medicines, etc, for his own publicity. He should mind his own business and leave the medical fraternity alone in India.

-Jerry Fernandes, Saligao


THE CM says his government has started implementing the recommendations of the task force. Great! The job of the task force is one of great responsibility and must be viewed as such by its members. Their first job would be to list out their objectives and work towards meeting them.

Surely, the prime objectives should be to ensure no deaths through lack of care/medicines/decisions. The provision of maximum care at all stages of infection and  even post-cure.

The objectives must not be to free up beds, ration oxygen, leave procure inefficient systems/people, hide mistakes from the public. They have no right to another’s life: on the contrary they are charged with securing the right to life of everyone without favouritism.

The GMC Dean disclosed before the HC Bench in Goa that oxygen was rationed by operating it at low flow levels because of shortage. This is taking the right to life of people. A lady was recently discharged after being cured from covid. Her breathing was still laboured, and the family was told it would soon improve. Was the discharge done to meet the objective of freeing up a bed? If so the oxygen cylinder should have been provided to the patient under medical supervision.

Even those cured in 2020 have been facing breathing problems and are in need of oxygen use to maintain some quality of life. The task force must have a list of all such patients in need of oxygen and ensure that they get it.

A task force comprising only of doctors will have no knowledge of problem solving, creating implementation  plans, tracking, corrections, etc. So, make the major tasks: like estimate oxygen per day from which date and with what % increase. Then pin this task to the Collectors/MLA’s. Let them make whatever activities required and follow up. They must report to the Task force: no excuses, no compromise. If you want a live daily schedule of oxygen cylinder tracking, then demand it.

Case in point:  The oxygen generating plant at SDH, sanctioned nine months back under  PM Cares Fund is waiting for only the compressor. There are 120 such plants waiting to be commissioned. The compressor is sourced from Gujarat. Is there only one supplier? Then charge the government to get the date of receipt of the same. Is Goa last on the list? Surely there must be a date!

If it is late then spend a few lakhs and buy from another party: Atlas Copco and Ingersoll Rand are reputed manufacturers of non-lubricated compressors. In matters of life and death, decisions must be prompt. Hire the same from the industry: beg, borrow, steal! The Task Force must demand what is required. The objectives must be met. Favouritism, including political, must be promptly disclosed to the public. No matter whether supplier or hospital beds for patients.

They must decide which vaccine is best: if they want Pfizer, then make a case and demand the same,  especially since it can be combined with Covishield: let the Govt. reject the same. The pandemic has thrown up the doctors: both government and private in a very poor light and it is their own doing.

–R Fernandes, Margao


Honorable Chief Minister, greetings from the GCCI!  On March 24, 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared a nation-wide lock down in response to the coronavirus pandemic spread; however,  the retail sector was  worst hit and it was barely managing to revive  when the  second wave hit the State.

This time covid was more intense and since May 9, 2021 with the curfew restrictions retail operations came to a grinding halt – the only exception being pharmacies and daily essentials outlets operating from  7am to 1pm.

The retail sector works on margins and volumes which inherently makes their business model fragile. To stay afloat it needs consistency of business hours, a certain number of footfalls, conversions and spending power, also optimism from  consumers.

It has also to pay wages, rent, taxes, corporation levies, interest on borrowing, cash flow for purchases, credits, huge maintenance cost which are almost constant irrespective of business. With the current curfew and its extension the cash inflow of the retail sector has come to a standstill, while fixed operating costs remains intact. With zero revenues, retailers are still expected to pay overheads such as salaries, electricity, taxes and rentals.

 If a timely relief package is not provided by the government to ease financial stress, the retail sector will find it hard to survive the  second wave, they have barely managed to survive the first wave. With retailers and malls facing various restrictions across states due to the second pandemic wave, there is pressing need for urgent intervention in order to prevent the sector from slipping into irretrievable financial damage.

After intense deliberations and inputs from experts, we at the GCCI strongly recommend a “Retailer-Relief–Package” which includes the following:

  1. Exemptions/waiver from all applicable levies, taxes, etc, levied by the State government.

Instructions to be issued to, corporations, municipalities, panchayats and any other smaller entities which collects levies/taxes, etc, namely house tax, property tax, sanitation tax, trade occupation licenses, etc, which are levied on retailer/traders to be exempted /waived with effect from  April 2021 to August 2021 as immediate relief or till normalcy is attained.

A notice in this regard should be issued and suitable processing mechanism in place and declared. Credit adjustments to be done in case these are paid in advance.

  • EDC loan assistance

EDC should work out special loan packages to assist retail businesses. Such loans shall be collateral free and at max secured against the inventory/ debtors. Such loans should be given at a lowered rate of interest and a longer term. If possible, these loans could be provided a guarantee by the government of Goa so that other banks could participate as well.

–Manoj M Caculo, president,GCCI


IT is very unfortunate and deplorable that Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has made a U-turn and now directed that the Old Ribandar Hospital premises be given to the Ayush Ministry.

In October last year he had assured us that medical facilities would be restored there with the setting up of a Health Centre. On the same day Health Minister Vishwajit Rane along with Panaji MLA Babush Monserrate visited the premises and announced that a 30-bedded health center would commence jointly run by the Directorate of Health Services and the Goa Medical College, it would be gradually expanded to be full-fledged hospital.

Our proposed Health Centre file was approved by Vishwajit Rane  six months ago but stalled by the chief minister due to opposition from Union Ayush Minister Shripad Naik who wants an Ayush Centre there. It is an irony that Shripad Naik,  despite being a Ribandar resident, has been against the Health Center. He should have at least by now realized that after his car accident earlier this year, it was not Ayush treatment but the medical expertise he received at the Goa Medical College & Hospial that came to his rescue.

During the CCP elections in March this year Babush Monserrate solemnly promised us that the Health Center at Old Ribandar Hospital would be a reality before this monsoon. He and his three Ribandar CCP councillors are now accountable in keeping the promises made.

Restoring health care facilities and services at the Old Ribandar hospital would ease the burden on GMC at Bambolim which has reached a saturation point. A medical centre would be of immense service to the people of Ribandar and neighbouring Chimbel, Merces, Old Goa and residents in the Island of Divar.

If healthcare facilities are restored at the Old Ribandar Hospital, which is Asia’s first medical school, it would be a remarkable achievement for this government.

–Adv Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar


  1. AAP has given Financial Support for the people of Delhi. Hope BJP will give Financial Support for the people of Goa at the earliest, without any more delay.

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