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UP govt announces ‘weekly closure’ on Sundays, increases fine for not wearing mask

The government has also ordered district administrations in 10 worst-affected districts like Kanpur, Varanasi and Prayagraj to convert private hospitals to dedicated Covid-19 hospitals.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow |
April 16, 2021 2:04:34 pm
Market places will be sanitised on Sundays during the weekly closure. (Express photo by Vishal Srivastava)

Amid rising coronavirus cases in the state, the Uttar Pradesh government Friday announced a “weekly closure” of markets on Sunday in rural and urban areas. The government has also increased the fine for not wearing a mask in public places to Rs 1,000 for first violation and Rs 10,000 for second violation.

Additional Chief Secretary (Information) Navneet Sehgal said, “There will be no restriction on movement of people on the days. The markets which are shut on different days will now be shut on Sunday, and sanitisation and cleanliness work will be done on Sundays.”

On Thursday, UP recorded 22,439 new Covid cases, its highest-single day spike in cases since the outbreak of the pandemic. The state government has also announced a strict curfew from 8 pm to 7 am in districts with more than 2,000 active cases.

The government has also ordered district administrations in 10 worst-affected districts like Kanpur, Varanasi and Prayagraj to convert private hospitals to dedicated Covid-19 hospitals.

“Beds must be increased in all districts. In Prayagraj, Avilamb United Medical College will be converted into dedicated Covid hospital,” a government spokesperson said.

District administrations have been directed to make quarantine centres functional. “Along with treatment, there should be an arrangement for food and shelter at the quarantine centres,” he added.

The government also said that all 108 ambulances will be used only for Covid patients in the state.

After the review meeting held by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday, the government announced that a dedicated Covid hospital with a capacity of 1,000 beds will be established in Lucknow.

“The ground where the Defence Expo is held can be a good spot to establish this, and further action is being taken to build the emergency hospital at the spot,” said a government spokesperson.

The government said that private and government-run Covid testing facilities will be working on full capacity and that no complacency will be tolerated. “District administration must ensure quality control in the arrangement for tests,” said the spokesperson.

Lucknow’s King George’s Medical University, Balrampur hospital and Cancer Institute are being converted into dedicated Covid facilities and that OPD services in hospitals will remain suspended, the spokesperson added.

“Similarly, Era Medical College, T S Mishra Medical College, and Integral Medical College, Mayo Medical College and Hind Medical College in Lucknow have been declared dedicated Covid hospitals. Emergency services at KGMU’s Trauma Centre will continue to be functional,” said the spokesperson.

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