UP CM Yogi Adityanath
UP CM Yogi Adityanath
Photo: PTI

Lucknow: No public gatherings will be allowed in Uttar Pradesh till June 30, almost two months beyond the ongoing national lockdown which ends on 3 May, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on Saturday amid concern over the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the state.

The decision was taken after CM held a meeting with the chairpersons of 11 committees tasked with handling the outbreak in the state. The order, which will impact large gatherings like marriages, political rallies and social functions, has been described as a necessary measure to control the spread of the virus. The State has so far reported 1,770 cases adding 157 new patients on Saturday alone.

The decision triggered speculation among the public that national or state level lockdown could be extended. “Seems the lockdown will be extended in some parts of India, especially States where covid19 numbers are rising. We are concerned about career and academic year now as exams appear to be far away,” a medical aspirant said. Higher secondary and university students have few exam papers pending.

Entrance exams for medical, engineering and other competitions slated to be held this summer have already been postponed indefinitely making scores of youngsters anxious. A shopkeeper said, “Several orders are issued from the Centre and the State every day conflicting each other. There is a huge confusion over opening of shops, industries and offices.”

The order has come in the wake of the Centre’s decision to allow re-opening of stand-alone shops in neighbourhood except those in malls and shopping complexes. This order is not applicable in coronavirus hotspots. UP has several such hotspots spread across a dozen major districts. There will be no relaxation in lockdown for the State capital Lucknow, said district magistrate Abhishek Prakash.

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