PANAJI, March 7: Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane has said that the coronavirus outbreak has already started taking a toll on the state's tourism with people cancelling holidays and events getting pushed back.
Addressing a press conference here, Rane said adequate measures have been taken in Goa as per the guidelines issued by the Centre.
"As far as tourism in Goa is concerned, people have started cancelling holidays and events. The coronavirus outbreak is an unfortunate thing, which will have impact on the economy and tourism," he said.
The coronavirus outbreak, which started in December from Wuhan in China, has since killed more than 3,300 people and infected nearly 1,00,000 in about 85 nations.
The epidemic has wreaked havoc on international business, tourism, sports events and schools, with almost 300 million students sent home worldwide.
In order to stall the spread of the virus, Rane asked people to avoid attending functions or watch films in theatres for two to three months, and said greeting each other with a 'namaste' was better than shaking hands.
He, however, avoided a direct reply when asked if the upcoming Shigmo Festival or Indian Super League football matches would be cancelled, only stating that "Goans were wise enough to take their own decisions" on not going to such mass gatherings.
He said Goans working in Kuwait are facing difficulty as the Gulf nation has asked for "coronavirus free" certificates from those returning from their respective countries.
He said he would speak to the Centre to empanel Goa Medical College laboratory to provide such certificates. - PTI