Uttar Pradesh to continue with lockdown as cases rise

Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh will continue with the lockdown and relaxations suggested by the Centre will not be implemented now in the state in view of the prevailing situation.

“It is crucial for us to contain the number of COVID-19 cases. There are already 19 such districts where there are 20 or more cases. Three cases also surfaced in Prayagraj, where there had not been any new case for some days. The government has already permitted shops selling essential goods, like groceries and medicines, and 11 kinds of industries are being allowed to function, but we will not be permitting any more to open up at this point. The situation will be reviewed in a few days,” said a senior government official late evening Saturday.

On Saturday, Sant Kabir Nagar district was added to the list of 18 districts for which nodal officers have been appointed.

Additional Chief Secretary Avanish Awasthi said that the decision was taken after the Chief Minister reviewed the lockdown situation.

“Nodal officers have been appointed for this district as well and officers have been asked to go there at the earliest,” he said.

The nodal officers for each of the districts, include one from the administration, senior police personnel and one from the health department. They have been asked to stay in their respective districts for at least a week to assess the lockdown situation, condition of quarantine shelters, food distribution mechanism and preparedness at the hospitals.

The state has about 389 hotspots from where even one case has been reported, which are completely sealed and no activity is permitted. Only health workers, sanitisation staff and doorstep delivery personnel are allowed into these areas.

Awasthi said that about 90-95 per cent COVID-19 cases have been reported from the hotspots but the Chief Minister has been clear that even in districts where no fresh cases have been reported, no leniency in the lockdown will be permitted.

Meanwhile, as many as 157 new cases of Covid-19 infection were reported in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, taking the total in the state to 1,778.

Principal secretary, medical and health, Amit Mohan Prasad said, “Till now, 248 Covid-19 patients have been discharged in the state, while 26 deaths have taken place.”

He said that 57 of the state’s 75 districts have so far reported coronavirus cases.

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