The Uttar Pradesh government on Sunday announced a night curfew in districts that are reporting a surge in coronavirus cases and the closure of all schools in the state, NDTV reported. The new restrictions, which were decided at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Adityanath, will be in place till April 30.

As per an order passed by the state government, districts reporting over 100 daily cases, or those with more than 500 active cases, will be placed under a night curfew. Earlier this month, the government had given district magistrates the authority to impose night time restrictions based on local conditions. Many places, including capital Lucknow and the districts of Kanpur, Varanasi and Prayagraj are already under night curfew.

The state government also set a target of conducting at least one lakh RT-PCR tests daily for better contact tracing of coronavirus cases, NDTV reported. Those who violate Covid-19 protocols and do not wear masks will be penalised, the statement issued by the Uttar Pradesh government said.

Sunday’s directives came a day after the state government had announced restrictions on gatherings of five or more people at religious places, in view of the upcoming festivals of Navratri and Ramzan. Adityanath also asked authorities in Lucknow to arrange 2,000 additional intensive care unit beds, and an additional 2,000 Covid beds within a week, according to The Indian Express.

As India grapples with a strong second wave of coronavirus infections, cases in Uttar Pradesh have registered an upward trend since last month. On Saturday, the state reported a record number of daily infections for the third consecutive day, with 12,787 people testing positive in 24 hours. The state’s overall count since the pandemic began last year in March rose to 6,76,739, while the deaths climbed to 9,085.

Meanwhile, India on Sunday registered 1,52,879 new coronavirus cases, data from the health ministry showed. The country’s overall count of infections since the pandemic broke out last March rose to 1,33,58,805. This is India’s biggest one-day rise in cases since the beginning of the pandemic. The toll went up to 1,69,275 with 839 more deaths in the last day.

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