The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday extended the coronavirus-related restrictions across the state till 7 am on May 10, The Indian Express reported.
On April 29, the state government had increased the lockdown timing by 24 hours, extending it to 7 am on Tuesday. On May 3, the restrictions were extended till 7 am on May 6.
The new restriction orders came on the day the state registered its highest daily death count, reporting 357 fatalities. Uttar Pradesh also registered 31,165 new infections.
In its order, the government said the partial Covid-19 curfew would not be applicable on emergency and essential services. It said that these services along with industrial activities and e-commerce services would continue to function unhindered.
Grocery shops and those dealing in daily use essential items such as milk and vegetables can remain open outside containment zones. The restrictions will also not apply to pharmacies and shops selling surgical instruments. For containment zones, only emergency services and doorstep deliveries are permitted.
The government has also said that those searching for medicines and oxygen will not be stopped. It has introduced an e-pass system for the residents concerned.
As cases in the state are rising at an alarming rate, the government on Wednesday ordered a weeklong coronavirus testing drive in rural areas to contain the spread of the infection in villages.
As part of the drive, monitoring committees will visit houses in villages and record the temperature and oxygen level of the residents. If a person is found to have symptoms of the coronavirus, they will need to take a rapid antigen test. Upon testing positive, the patients will either be admitted to hospitals, sent to quarantine centres or advised home isolation.
The government also said it has issued instructions to open quarantine centres in gram panchayats. Chief Minister Adityanath ordered officials to ensure that community kitchens are operated for roadside vendors and daily labourers.
The restrictions and their extension came weeks after the Uttar Pradesh government moved the Supreme Court against an Allahabad High Court order to impose lockdowns in five cities. The Supreme Court had stayed the High Court’s order. A senior government official, however, has said that these restrictions are not part of any lockdown and insisted on calling it a “closure”.
Affected by the coronavirus pandemic, Lucknow on Wednesday reported the maximum number of Covid-19 single-day cases with 3,004 infections, followed by Meerut with 1,732 and Gautam Buddh Nagar with 1,703.
The daily death count was the highest in Kanpur Nagar that registered 36 deaths. Lucknow registered 38 and Chandauli district 24.