Extensive restrictions in UP over weekend; govt stops short of calling it 'lockdown'

Sanitization operations will be carried out during the period

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath | PTI Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath | PTI

Uttar Pradesh is set to have extensive restrictions in place from 10pm on July 10 to 5am on July 13 in view of the rising number of COVID-19 cases. The government issued guidelines to this effect on Thursday, but did not use the word 'lockdown' to prevent spread of panic among people.

During this phase of restrictions, all offices, shops, commercial establishments, and whole sale markets in rural and urban areas will remain closed. Medical services and certain essential services shall, however, remain functional. The latter include home delivery and sanitation workers.

In an earlier directive, issued by Lucknow’s district administration, masks, gloves, shoe and head covers for all those undertaking door step deliveries have been made mandatory.

The district administration has also suggested that all private organisations continue to allow employees to work from home, and if opening of offices is necessary, no more than 50 per cent employees should be called to work.

Rail services will continue as per schedule and the state-run buses will be operational from and to railway stations, but not to any other destination. Flight operations will remain open, as will movement on highways.

On the three days when these restrictions are in place, extensive sanitization operations will be carried out throughout the state in addition to screening and surveillance activities. The state has launched a door-to-door surveillance programme earlier this week.

Industrial units located in rural areas will remain functional. However, barring continuous process units (such as fertilizers) all industrial units in urban areas shall be shut down.

There will be extensive use of public address systems to spread awareness about coronavirus prevention. To ensure that there is strict adherence to these guidelines, there will be strict police patrolling.

No separate duty passes will be given to those who are involved in essential services; their identity cards will suffice for the movement.

The state had 31,156 confirmed COVID-19 cases till Thursday evening.