Lucknow: A day after slammed by the Allahabad High Court for not enforcing a 14-day lockdown, the Yogi Adityanath government has extended the weekend lockdown by another day. Now, Uttar Pradesh will be shut for three days, starting from Friday 8 pm, untill Tuesday 7 am. Emergency and essential services will, however, continue during the three-day lockdown period.
A decision to extend the lockdown by another day was taken during the the Team-11 meeting on Thursday amid a spike in fatalities and number of active cases. The night curfew on remaining week days will, however, continue from 8 am to 7 pm from Tuesday to Thursday.
The government has issued directives to all DMs and SSPs to initiate action against anyone roaming around unnecessarily during the three-day lockdown period.
The Allahabad High Court had rapped the state government for its ‘my way or no way’ attitude and directed it again to impose 14-day lockdown in Uttar Pradesh to break the chain of second wave of coronavirus.
The Court had issued a similar order about eight days ago for 14-day lockdown in five major cities including Lucknow, Varanasi and Prayagraj. But the state government had moved to the Supreme Court which had stayed the High Court lockdown order.
The High Court had pulled up the state government for its inability to control the second spell of pandemic and failing to provide beds, oxygen, medicines etc. The High Court has appointed senior Civil Judges in nine districts to monitor the situation and report to the court.
The three-day lockdown period will delay the third phase of vaccination drive for 18-44 age group. The vaccination was to start from May 1. Now it will not be launched before May 4. Sources claimed that state government was buying time by extending the two-day lockdown by another day as it has no vaccines to begin the drive.
It has placed an order for one crore vaccines to Bharaat Biotech and Serum Institute of India for 50 lakhs each of Covaxin and Covashield. It has also decided to float a global tender for 4 crore vaccines from global manufacturers. But it will take minimum 10 to 15 days to execute the tender process, place order and recieve vaccine vials from abroad.