Lucknow: Even as the state government announced complete lockdown on Sundays, the second wave of coronavirus has almost veered out of control in Uttar Pradesh where the highest ever 27,426 active cases and 103 deaths were reported on Friday.
The number of active cases on Friday was also much higher – by nearly 5,000 – as against Thursday’s tally of 22,439. The total number of active cases has also crossed the 1.5 lakh mark across the state.
The State Capital Lucknow remained the worst-hit where a record 6598 active cases and 35 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, as against Thursday’s tally of 5183. Lucknow is followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency Varanasi where 2344 new cases were detected. Prayagraj with 1758 and Kanpur (1403) are also grappling with a spike in active cases.
In Lucknow, all government and private hospitals have put up a ‘houseful board’ denying admissions to newly infected patients. Even the serious patients having severe breathing problems are being forced to opt for home isolation.
“I have tried an oxygen cylinder, but it is not available for private use,” says Ranjan, whose mother tested positive two days ago. Like Ranjan, there are hundreds of others who are running from pillar to post to save the lives of their dear ones.
“People are generally angry with the ‘too little and too late’ measures taken by the district and State administration when the second surge of coronavirus knocked at its doors in March,” pointed out a senior journalist, not wishing to be quoted.
The second wave of coronavirus seems to have caught the Yogi Adityanath government unawares. After initial hiccups, the Chief Minister has finally taken some tough measures to tackle the crisis.
After turning five private and two government hospitals into Covid facilities, the Chief Minister ordered on Friday that KGMU and Balrampur Medical Colleges be designated as Covid hospitals in the next 24 hours. Except for Trauma Centre and emergency services, the OPD and OTs have been declared closed for indefinite period.
The State Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh and Medical Education Minister Suresh Khanna have been asked to monitor the coronavirus situation and arrangements being made to tackle it.
“Imposing a stiff fine on those not wearing masks in public places is fine but lockdown on Sundays is too small a step to break the chain of second surge of coronavirus. Migrant labourers and Kumbh returnees may wreak havoc across the state in coming days,” feared the senior journalist.