The Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday imposed a complete lockdown in the state from 10 pm on Friday to 5 am on July 13, to contain the coronavirus pandemic, ANI reported.

All offices, markets and commercial establishments will remain closed, however, essential services will remain available, and trains will be allowed to operate, the state government said. But buses and other means of public transport will be prohibited.

The state government exempted factories in rural areas from the lockdown. It also allowed construction work on highways and expressways to continue.

The decision to opt for a complete lockdown was taken due to a sudden spurt in cases in the state. On Thursday, Uttar Pradesh reported over 1,200 new cases and 17 deaths, taking its tally to 32,362, and toll to 862, according to Additional Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad.

This is the first time Uttar Pradesh has opted to reimpose a full lockdown, after the Centre eased restrictions from May 1. Last week, Union Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah had asked Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath to test more during a meeting with the chief ministers of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to review the coronavirus situation. Uttar Pradesh has one of the lowest testing rates in the country.

Adityanath had said on Sunday that big events in the state can be organised while following coronavirus guidelines. The chief minister was referring to the “Van Mahotsav” or afforestation festival under which the state government has set a target of planting record 25 crore saplings.

Follow today’s top updates on Covid-19 here