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Calls for Goa to close casinos again as number of positive COVID cases among employees grows

Two employees of offshore casinos were among 150 new positive COVID-19 infections in the Indian state of Goa on Friday, the latest in a number of positive tests among casino staff and customers since the vessels reopened for business on 1 November.

According to a report in The Times of India, the two employees have been taken to a COVID care center with the number of active cases in Goa now sitting at 1,312 active cases with 687 deaths. There have been more than 46,000 positive cases since the start of the pandemic.

The latest cases have led to growing calls for Goa’s casinos, including the six offshore casinos on the Mandovi River, to suspend operations for the second time this year due to the risk of a second wave of the virus.

Surel Tilve, spokesperson for the Goa Aam Aadmi Party, stated last week, “It is already difficult to control the flow of tourists to Goa’s casinos. It is getting out of control. COVID-19 cases in casinos have also increased.

“The government is just trying to appease the lobby by allowing this trend to continue. We fear that if the chaos continues, Goa may witness a second COVID-19 wave sooner than later.”

Goa’s casinos originally shut down on 14 March before reopening almost eight months later on 1 November.

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