Other States

U.P. lockdown may be extended

People maintain social distancing as they wait to receive essential goods in Mathura on Monday.

People maintain social distancing as they wait to receive essential goods in Mathura on Monday.   | Photo Credit: -

‘Rising number of COVID-19 cases in the State, including those linked to Tabligh’

The lockdown in Uttar Pradesh may be extended beyond April 14, a senior government official said on Monday, citing the rising number of COVID-19 positive cases in the State including those linked to the Tablighi Jamaat.

The number of cases in U.P. touched 305, including 159 linked to the Jamaat, the government said.

Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi said there was little possibility of lifting the lockdown on April 15, two days after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath sought suggestions from legislators on resuming normal life on the said date in phases.

The “sensitivity” of COVID-19 cases in U.P. has increased after the fresh rise in numbers, most of them linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, he said at a press briefing.

‘Load has increased’

It was “premature to say” at this point if the lockdown would end on April 14, said Mr. Awasthi adding that the government wanted to “ensure a corona-free State” before lifting the restrictions. However, the COVID19 “load has increased” in the State due to the Tablighi Jamaat cases, he said.

The senior official’s statement came two days after Mr. Adityanath himself said that the lockdown in U.P. will come to an end on April 15 but would be implemented in phases.

15 April se lockdown samapt hone wala hai (The lockdown will come to an end on April 15),” Mr. Adityanath said while interacting with MLAs in the State through videoconference on Saturday.

‘Efforts will be wasted’

“On April 15, once we end the lockdown, if crowds gather at once, then all the efforts will go down in drain,” he said on Saturday.

According to government figures, COVID-19 positive cases have been reported in 35 out of the 75 districts in U.P.

Of the 35, 28 have cases linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, with the highest numbers in Agra (29), Ghaziabad (14), Shamli (13), Meerut (13), Saharanpur (13) and Lucknow (12). Overall, Noida has the highest number of cases with 61. U.P. has so far reported three deaths, one each in Basti, Meerut and Varanasi.

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 8:06:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/up-lockdown-may-be-extended/article31274438.ece

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