LUCKNOW: With the number of COVID-19 patients in UP rising, especially during the last week, the state government has decided to enforce a complete lockdown in 104 hotspots identified across 15 districts including the state capital Lucknow from Wednesday.
Initially, this lockdown will be applicable until the morning of April 15, but it could be further extended.
The fresh spike was witnessed after Tablighi Jamat members, who had attended the Markaz at Nizamuddin in New Delhi last month, started testing positive for the deadly coronavirus in large numbers, taking the state tally up to 350.
Confirming the decision, Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Awanish Awasthi claimed that the state government was left with no other option and the strict measures were needed to avoid the possibility of a community spread.
“The districts identified by the state government include those 15 districts where six or more corona positive cases have surfaced. During the lockdown, no shop would be allowed to open. Movement of all the citizens, including the mediapersons, would be completely restricted. Only police personnel and healthcare workers would be allowed to go to their workplace,” Awasthi said.
He added that authorities would ensure doorstep delivery of all the goods and essential items including medicines across all 104 hotspots in 15 districts.
Awasthi said if need be state authorities would use drone cameras for surveillance and to enforce complete lockdown across the hotspots. No bank would operate in those areas under restrictions and inter-locality movement would be completely stopped, he said.
Elaborating further on the new arrangements, UP DGP HC Awasthi claimed that it would be an undeclared curfew-like situation across the 104 hotspots.
“These hotspots were potential points that could have triggered the spike. So, to check any such possibility, intensive cent per cent lockdown will be implemented,” he said.
The DGP said no pass would be issued to the residents of the hotspots identified and regular sanitization would be ensured in those areas.
Though the entire state will continue to be under the nationwide lockdown, these hotspots will see a more intense clampdown.
"This kind of experiment has worked in some of the hotspots in various districts like Agra. So the decision to this effect has been taken," said Awasthi.
The district-wise breakdown of hotspots where complete lockdown will be implemented is as follows: Agra – 22, Lucknow - 12, Ghaziabad – 13, Gautam Buddh Nagar – 12, Kanpur -- 12, Meerut -- 7, Varanasi – 4, Shamli – 3, Bareilly – 1, Bulandshahr – 3, Basti – 3, Ferozabad – 3, Saharanpur -- 4, Maharajganj – 4 and Sitapur – 1 .