LUIZINHO BACKS OUT
THE TMC Vice-President Luizinho Faleriol, who had been ask to contest the Fatorda seat against Vijai Sardesai, the Goa Forward candidate, and Damu Naik, the BJP candidate, has refused to contest from Fatorda! Luizinho who was re-elected from the Navelim constituency on several occasions does not want to take the risk of contesting the Fatorda seat. We understand he even threatened to resign from the TMC if he was forced to contest from the Fatorda seats!
COVID-19 INFRA COLLAPSES
THE Covid-19 infrastructure for the third wave is non-existent. Even at the Goa Medical College & Hospital no temperature checks are done at the entry to Casuality. What is even more alarming is that no checks are done on attendants of Covid-19 positive patients in the Covid-19 treatment room attached to Casuality.
Unlike during the second wave there are no Covid-19 shelters, either government-sponsored by privately sponsored by CSR funds. Covid RT-PCR testing is done on everybody coming into the GMC wards and facilities and at the Valpoi Primary Health Centre (but this is Health Minister Vishwajit Rane’s constituency).
Though the number of hospitalisation may be low, the daily death toll continues to be alarming. On Thursday, January 27 there were 15 deaths. It is not known if adequate care was taken regarding the provision of oxygen or increasing the capacity of the ICUs.
NZ PM DEFERS WEDDING
PRIME Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern has postponed her wedding to her long term boyfriend Clarke Gayford. Unlike in India, political leaders abroad lead by example. The wedding was postponed due to the huge spike in covid-19 cases and the imposition of strict curbs to restrict the spread. The ceiling on guests at marriage venues is limited to a 100 guests. In sharp contrast we in Goa don’t have any restrictions and the Covid-19 Expert Committee of Goa has objected to any curfew plan, insisting that the progression of the disease is only marginal compared to the second wave.
Strict curbs will be imposed only if bed occupancy rises to 10% or more on oxygen-supported beds. The only concrete step taken by the State government is closure of all education institutions till February 15, 2022.
SENIOR RANE RELENTS
PRATAPSINGH Raoji Rane who filed his nomination for the Poriem seat to take on his daughter-in-law Divya Rane, contesting on the BJP ticket, withdrew his nomination on Thursday, January 27. Pratapsingh Rane who celebrated his 83rd birthday on Friday, January 28, seems to have been persuaded by his wife Vijaya Devi Rane, to withdraw from the contest. It is not known if Pratapsingh Raoji Rane will accept the BJP proposal to make him a lifetime cabinet member.
NCP SENA ALLAINCE
THE NCP-Sena Alliance has decided to contest 24 seats in the forthcoming Goa Assembly elections. The seats will be shared equally with each party contesting 12 seats. So far the NCP has announced the name of Filipe Neri Rodrigues, who resigned as minister and primary member of the Bharatiya Janata Party. While Neri will be contesting from Velim, former minister Micky Pacheco will be contesting from Nuvem. The remaining candidates are expected to announce after the close of nomination on Friday.