As COVID-19 cases rise, Uttar Pradesh has announced a Sunday lockdown that will be implemented across the state. Only essential services will be exempt. At the same time, the administration has not decided to impose a fine of Rs 1000 on any individual not wearing masks. This fine will be multiplied by 10 for a second offence.
The update comes a day after Uttar pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath tested positive for the deadly virus. Union Health Ministry data reveals that UP presently has the second highest number of active cases, second only to Maharashtra. As of Friday morning, the state has 1,29,848 active cases. But as cases increases, hospitals in parts of the country (including UP) are running out of beds and drugs.
The Sunday lockdown comes after several weeks of gradually increasing restrictions and changes. Parts of the state had been demarcated into containment zones some time earlier, and more recently, the local government has issued directions for quarantining returning migrants and urged tourists to stay away. The Varanasi district administration has now made it mandatory for people visiting three prominent temples to present a negative RT-PCR test report.
Class 10 and 12 board exams for the state board have been postponed till May 20th, while University exams have been postponed till May 15. In some parts of the state, traders associations and local groups have also taken it upon themselves to enforce curbs. In Lucknow for example, the traders' associations decide to keep several markets closed on different dates.