Updated: April 18, 2022 8:18:57 pm
Two weeks after lifting the mandatory provision of wearing masks in public places, the Uttar Pradesh government Monday issued fresh guidelines making masks compulsory again in five districts of the National Capital Region (NCR) as well as state capital Lucknow.
The move follows a surge in cases in the NCR region and Lucknow. Wearing masks and adhering to social distancing protocols have been imposed in Gautam Budh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Hapur, Meerut, Bulandshahr, and Baghpat districts of the NCR region and Lucknow. Testing and tracing of infections have been strengthened in these districts.
“We noticed a surge in the Covid-19 cases in the NCR region as well as Lucknow. Since the number (of infections) was rising in neighbouring states as well, it was advised to ensure precautionary measures,” said a health department official.
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A government spokesperson said individuals, who have still not been vaccinated, should do so immediately. Those reporting symptoms should get tested as well. In the NCR districts, the Omicron variant was confirmed during genome sequencing of Covid-positive patients. According to experts, cases may surge though hospitalisations would remain low.
Sources said that while 100 per cent of cases are being found positive for Omicron during genome sequencing, the bigger concern of health officials is the new Omicron XE variant, which has not yet been detected in the state.
On Monday, 115 fresh cases were reported across UP and the active caseload stood at 695. A majority of the fresh infections are from Gautam Budh Nagar and Ghaziabad which have been reporting cases in double digits for the past few days.
On April 17, 76 fresh cases were reported in Gautam Budh Nagar, 33 in Ghaziabad, seven in Lucknow, two in Meerut and Bulandshahr and one in Baghpat. The total number of active cases in Gautam Budh Nagar was 280, 113 in Ghaziabad, 41 in Lucknow, 11 in Meerut, five in Bulandshahr and two in Baghpat.
A total of 700 private centres are operational in UP for the administration of vaccines and booster doses.
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