The Uttar Pradesh government will seal parts of 15 districts worst-hit by the coronavirus pandemic including Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Lucknow, Agra, Shamli and Saharanpur till April 15 to slow down the spread of infection, ANI reported on Wednesday.
“Fifteen districts in UP have high viral load. Orders have been issued to seal the parts of these districts from where the cases have been found,” ANI quoted Chief Secretary RK Tiwari as saying. “This is important to stop community spread. Only essentials and medical teams will be allowed.”
After the announcement, Gautam Buddh Nagar District Magistrate Suhas Lalinakere Yathiraj urged people to not panic and assured them that the supply of essentials will remain uninterrupted. “Identified hot spots shall be sealed and home delivery of essential commodities and services shall be available at all places in the district,” he wrote on Twitter.
Uttar Pradesh has 326 coronavirus cases so far, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Three people in the state have died of Covid-19.
The announcement came as Prime Minister Narendra Modi said after an all-party meet on Wednesday said that the nationwide lockdown to control the coronavirus pandemic is likely to be extended beyond April 14.
Earlier, a senior Uttar Pradesh government official had said that the lockdown must not be lifted on April 15 since the number of coronavirus cases in the country were on the rise. “Since the number of coronavirus cases has gone up markedly in the past couple of days, it would not be right to say that the lockdown will be lifted after April 14,” Uttar Pradesh Additional Chief Secretary Awanish Awasthi had said.
The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 5,194 on Wednesday morning, with 149 deaths, the Union Health Ministry said. This is the biggest one-day jump in both the number of cases and deaths so far.