Candolim villagers protest quarantine of seafarers’ in hotel based in residential area

Panjim: Several villagers of Candolim on Wednesday night protested against the government’s move to quarantine the repatriated seafarers from Italy in their residential area following which the police and the panchayat had to intervene and resolve the issue.

The locals, youth as well as elderly, gathered in large number to protest against the government move.

Speaking to media persons, the locals said that the hotel – Whispering Palms is in the residential area and the seafarers, if infected by COVID-19, will severely threaten the lives of children and well as elderly.

One local said that two buses full of seafarers were brought in the hotel and when questioned they said they knew nothing.

“There is no manager or owner. Only security guards were here, who received them. Nobody has any answer,” he said.

The residents added that when they asked the police, they replied saying there is a government order to quarantine the seafarers in the hotel. “But they are not ready to show the order,” residents said. A few youth, who seemed quite agitated, demanded that the seafarers be quarantined in South Goa. “They are all from South Goa why are they quarantined them here, we do not need them here,” they shouted.

When contacted Calangute Police Inspector Nolasco Raposo tried to play down the incident saying “it was a minor issue.”

“96 seafarers were sent into quarantine after directions from authorities. Some people did make noise but the crowd was dispersed,” he said.

Raposoo said that police personnel have been stationed round the clock to see that no person quarantined moves out of the hotel.

Candolim Sarpanch Blaize Fernandes said that the people were agitated as they were not taken into confidence. “Moreover they feared the quarantined persons may roam out freely threatening residents. We have explained to them and the issue is now resolved,” he said. [H]