New Delhi: Turning down Allahabad High Court’s suggestion for a week long complete lockdown, Uttar Pradesh government has instead decided to go into a lockdown every weekend as a measure to curb Covid-19 infections spreading rapidly in the state. The UP government challenged the High Court order saying it had to protect both lives and livelihoods. There will be a complete shut down on Saturdays and Sundays even as the night curfew continues on weekdays.
The decision was taken on Tuesday during a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to review the situation in the state in the wake of the spiraling cases of the disease. A night curfew of 8 pm to 7 am is already in place.
“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 media.
The decision came on a day Uttar Pradesh reported 28,211 new Covid-19 cases and 167 deaths, taking the state’s overall figure to nearly 8.8 lakh infections and 10,000 fatalities.
The Uttar Pradesh government’s move also came hours after the Supreme Court put on hold the lockdown ordered yesterday by the Allahabad High Court in Lucknow, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Kanpur, and Gorakhpur till April 26.
It argued that locking down the cities by judicial order “may not be the right approach” and a “blanket lockdown imposed by the High Court in five cities would create immense administrative difficulties”. It also said that the Allahabad High Court’s order infringed upon the state government’s domain.
The High Court had observed that the pandemic had “virtually incapacitated our medical infrastructure…”
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court also sought a report today from the state government within a week on the steps taken to tackle the Covid surge. It appointed senior advocate P S Narasimha as amicus curiae to assist it in the matter and said the plea would come up for hearing after two weeks.