Sunday lockdown in Uttar Pradesh as COVID-19 cases rise: What's allowed, what's not

Lucknow: In a bid to break the chain of the second surge of coronavirus, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has announced complete lockdown in the entire state on Sundays, exempting essential services.

A decision to this effect was taken after a meeting of Team-11, a core-group formed to deal with the pandemic. Announcing more strict measures, the state government has declared to impose a fine of Rs 1,000 on those not wearing masks at public places. A whopping Rs 10,000 will be realized from repeated offenders.

A government spokesman said that the complete lockdown will be enforced in Rural as well as Urban areas on Sundays and will continue till further orders. The idea behind lockdown is to break the chain of the coronavirus second wave which has taken the state by storm. Moreover, the state government has directed to launch a sanitization drive during Sunday lockdown.

“Essential services have been kept out of the Sunday lockdown. An on the spot fine of Rs 1,000 would be realised from those not wearing masks at public places and Rs 10,000 will be charged from those committing the offence second time,” he said.

The Chief Minister has also directed to set-up a 1,000 bed covid hospital in the state capital Lucknow, which is the worst hit, within three days to make available more beds for infected people. A place has already been selected and work is on war-foot level. All ICU and general beds reserved for covid patients are full and there is a long waiting list.

Except for emergency services, all OPDs and OTs have been declared closed. Tele-medicine services have been re-launched for people to consult doctors. Yogi Adityanath has directed officials to ensure that every migrant labourer and their families returning home are tested and quarantined for 7 to 14 days before being allowed to go home.

District administration in Ayodhya, Mathura, Varanasi, Chitrakoot and other places have already issued travel advisories for foreigners and pilgrims and asked devotees to bring negative RT PCR test reports, no older than three days, to visit temples.

World famous Taj Mahal and other ASI-protected monuments are shut for public till May 15. All schools, colleges, coaching institutes have been declared closed till May 15. UP Board exams have also been put off till May 20 in view of rising coronavirus cases.

Only five people are allowed at a time for darshan and puja. Muslim clerics have been directed to ensure no gatherings at mosques during the holy month of Ramadan. Only five people are allowed at a time to offer namaz.

Tough measures came a day after the Chief Minister, who is on a nine-day fast for Navratri, tested positive on Thursday. But he continued to discharge his duties by holding virtual meetings to deal with the challenge thrown by the second wave of the deadly virus.

Uttar Pradesh has become the second state after Maharashtra where the number of active cases jumped manifold in the past ten days. In the last 24 hours, 22439 active cases and 104 deaths were reported across the state.

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