UP imposes weekend curfew across state, bans non-essential activities in districts with over 500 COVID-19 cases
The government decision comes hours after the SC stayed an Allahabad High Court order imposing lockdown in five cities in the northern state
Hours after the Supreme Court stayed an Allahabad High Court order imposing lockdown in five cities in Uttar Pradesh, the state government announced a weekend curfew from Friday (23 April) evening to Monday (26 April) morning in the entire state till further notice.
The decision was taken to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus infections in the state during a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
#UPCM श्री @myogiadityanath जी के निर्देशानुसार प्रत्येक शुक्रवार रात 08 बजे से सोमवार सुबह 07 बजे तक सम्पूर्ण प्रदेश में साप्ताहिक बंदी रहेगी: ACS, सूचना, श्री @navneetsehgal3 जी@sanjaychapps1@ShishirGoUP
— Government of UP (@UPGovt) April 20, 2021
Besides ordering a nearly 60-hour-long weekend curfew, the govt has also decided to keep all non-essential activities suspended in all districts of the state having 500 or more active cases.
It also decided to continue with the night-long curfew on weekdays throughout the state, a senior official said.
"Throughout the state, there will be night curfew. Throughout the state, the corona curfew will be enforced from Friday evening to Monday morning," Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Kumar Awasthi told PTI.
The move by the UP Government comes hours after the Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed an Allahabad High Court order asking the state government to impose strict restrictions till 26 April in five cities amid the surge in COVID-19 cases.
A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde passed the order after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Uttar Pradesh, told it that the state government has taken several steps to contain the spread of coronavirus but to lockdown five cities by a judicial order may not be the right approach.
Mehta, while arguing that the high court order would create immense administrative difficulties, said the state government has issued several directions and taken adequate precaution on the issue. In these circumstances, there shall be an interim stay on the order of the high court, the top court said.
The apex court-appointed senior advocate PS Narasimha as amicus curiae to assist it in the matter and said the plea would come up for hearing after two weeks.
The high court had directed the Uttar Pradesh government to impose strict restrictions including the closing of malls, shopping complexes and restaurants till 26 April in five cities — Allahabad, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur, Nagar and Gorakhpur — but stopped short of calling it a "complete lockdown".
On the issue of migrants coming back to the state from Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Delhi, Adityanath said the bordering districts of UP must exercise special caution, and provisions should be made for smooth movement of the migrant workers.
The Home Department and the transport department should co-ordinate and act, he said, adding adequate facilities should be made for testing and treatment of the migrant labourers, he said.
With inputs from PTI
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