Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on Monday announced that he will not attend his father’s funeral the next day to ensure the enforcement of the ongoing nationwide lockdown to slow down the spread of coronavirus, ANI reported. Adityanath’s father Anand Singh Bisht died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi on Monday morning.

In a statement, Adityanath expressed grief over his father’s death and said that he could not be with him in his final moments because of his responsibilities as the chief minister. “I will not be able to attend the funeral tomorrow [Tuesday] to ensure the enforcement of the lockdown and due to the strategy to defeat the disease,” he said. He also appealed to his mother and relatives to follow lockdown rules during his father’s last rites.

All social, religious and cultural gatherings have been banned under the nationwide lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus. The number of Covid-19 cases in India has risen to 17,265 and the toll has reached 543, according to the Union health ministry. But the Indian Council of Medical Research said at least 17,615 people have tested positive so far. The ministry said it is “reconciling” its figures with those from ICMR.

Uttar Pradesh has reported 1084 cases of the coronavirus and 17 deaths.

Adityanath’s father was undergoing treatment at the gastroenterology department at AIIMS, according to PTI. He had been on a ventilator for the past few days. Adityanath received the news of his death in the middle of a meeting on the coronavirus crisis, according to a bureaucrat from Uttar Pradesh.

Several political leaders offered their condolences to Adityanath and his family. “My heartfelt condolences at the passing away of Anand Singh Bisht ji, father of UP CMYogi Adityanath ji,” Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot wrote on Twitter. Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath wrote, “Received the sad news of the demise of Shri Anand Singh Bishtji, father of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. My condolences to the family.”

Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Union Minister Jitendra Singh and Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also expressed grief at Adityanath’s father’s death.