Lucknow The Covid-19 cases touched four digits in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday even as the Yogi Adityanath government has been easing out lockdown restrictions gradually to kickstart the agriculture, manufacturing and infrastructure work, halted since March 24.

As many as 1,084 positive cases have been reported in the State so far, Agra on top with 242 followed by Lucknow (161) and Noida (95).

Alarmed with the situation, CM Adityanath asked chief secretary RK Tiwari districts with 10 or more Covid cases should not be opened up as of now. This will virtually leave out all major industrial districts such as Noida, Agra, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Kanpur and Lucknow.

On April 12, when the 21- day lockdown was still in place, the Yogi government had announced opening up of government offices, online businesses and agriculture procurement. Going a step further, the government on April 16 permitted 11 industries to start manufacturing plants even as the Centre extended the lockdown till May 3 with permission to open industries related to essential items from April 20.

Textile (except garmenting), steel, cement, foundries, chemical, refineries, tyre, paper, sugar mills and common effluent plants have been given permission in UP to start functioning albeit with 50% staff. The mills in hotspot zones will remain shut. Meanwhile, massive violation of lockdown was reported from Agra, Meerut, Kanpur and major cities, alarming the government.

As per a confidential document accessed by FPJ, the government has evaluated 40 of the 75 districts (including entire western UP) were not up to the mark in implementing the lockdown restrictions. This has triggered the fears of spread of the disease as the districts have reported a large number of cases.

The list of 40 districts with “unsatisfactory work” includes Taj city Agra, state capital Lucknow, industrial town Kanpur and PM’s constituency Varanasi. “Police officers in these districts have been warned and directed to enforce the law and order,” a senior official said. CM held a videoconference with all district magistrates Sunday.

“We have started using rapid action antibody test kits for surveillance and indication purpose,” health secy Amit Mohan Prasad sa - id in a press briefing. Meanwhile, the government has constituted a highlevel committee to provide employment to 5 lakh migrants who returned to the state amid lockdown from across India and even abroad.

The panel will explore options to employ them in industries and other sectors and also to support them to establish own businesses. Moreover, Priyanka Gandhi has urged Yogi to bring back migrants to the state just as students from Kota have been brought back.

In another development, Meerut police filed an FIR against “Valentis Cancer hospital” for an ad stating Muslim patients will be treated only on the production of Covid-19 negative certificate. The ad urged “rich” Hindu and Jain patients to donate to PM Cares Fund. Dr Amit Jain, the hospital owner, was booked for his alleged malicious act intended to outrage religious sentiments.

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