India

Lockdown In UP Every Weekend As Coronavirus Cases Rise

Lockdown In UP Every Weekend As Coronavirus Cases Rise

Lockdown in UP: It will remain effective in both urban and rural areas of the state.

New Delhi:

As coronavirus cases continue to surge in Uttar Pradesh, the state government has decided to implement strict lockdown on weekends, a senior official said on Sunday.

"The lockdown on weekends will be implemented from the coming Saturday and Sunday especially in the crowded areas. The markets and offices will remain closed on these days. However, the banks will remain open," Additional Chief Secretary (Home and Information) Awanish Awasthi told PTI.

"This is being done basically to stop the spread of infection through unwanted physical movement. Economic activities will, however, not suffer," he added.

The lockdown will remain effective in both urban and rural areas of the state.

"It (lockdown) will be in place for the month of July at least," Awanish Awasthi said. 

This is the second time the state government is going for a blanket lockdown since the Centre started lifting the restrictions in May. Earlier, the state had enforced extra restrictions in pockets and containment areas, and sealed borders with Delhi at Ghaziabad and Noida. It has already enforced a 55-hour lockdown this week.

Last week, at a meeting with the Chief Ministers of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to review the coronavirus situation, Union Minister Amit Shah had asked Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to focus on testing. Uttar Pradesh has one of the lowest rates of testing.

The coronavirus tally in Uttar Pradesh crossed the 35,000-mark after the state recorded the highest single-day spike of 1,403 cases on Saturday, a senior official said.

The state also reported 24 new fatalities, raising the count to 913, Additional Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said.

The number of active cases is 11,490, while 22,689 people have been discharged from hospitals after recovering from the infection, he said.

India's new cases of the coronavirus infection reached a record high on Sunday, with the Union Health Ministry saying 28,637 new cases were identified in the 24 hours since 8 am on Saturday. The total is now 8,49,553. This is the third consecutive day that COVID-19 cases in the country increased by more than 26,000. India also witnessed 551 deaths during the last 24-hour period, taking the total number of death count to 22,674. 

With a steady rise, the number of recoveries stands at 5,34,621, the government said today. Five states -- Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh -- have contributed the maximum to the single-day spike.

The novel coronavirus has killed over 5,60,000 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to news agency AFP. More than 12.5 million cases have been registered in 196 countries and territories, triggering massive economic damage. The biggest increases were from the United States, Brazil and India, according to a daily report.