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Uttar Pradesh: 50% attendance in offices, five at a time to be allowed at religious places

Out of the total active cases, 32,900 are in home isolation, 991 are in private hospitals and rest are getting treatment at government hospitals free of cost.

A crowded Charbagh station in Lucknow on Saturday as passengers arrive from Mumbai. (Express photo by Vishal Srivastav)

For the third consecutive day on Saturday, Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest single-day spike in the number of fresh Covid-19 cases with 12,787 people testing positive in last 24 hours. With this, the number of active cases stood at 58,801 on Saturday, said officials.

Out of the total active cases, 32,900 are in home isolation, 991 are in private hospitals and rest are getting treatment at government hospitals free of cost. The number of casualties also increased as 48 Covid positive patients succumbed to the virus since Friday. The total number of deaths since April last year reached 9,085 so far.

During a review meeting on Saturday, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said at least 2,000 ICU beds should be available in Lucknow, and an additional 2,000 Covid beds be arranged in the next one week. He directed that Era Medical College, TS Mishra Medical College and Integral MEdical College be transformed into dedicated Covid hospital. In addition to that, a 300-bed Covid hospital will be started in Balrampur Hospital from Sunday.

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He also directed Lucknow DM that at least 30-35 contacts of every person testing positive should be traced and tested for coronavirus. Lucknow Police Commissioner has been directed to ensure that no more than five people are allowed inside any religious place at a time. Action is to be taken against those not wearing face masks.

While four districts have reported more than 500 cases in a day, 17 more districts have reported cases between 100 and 500. Lucknow remained the worst-affected district with as many as 4,059 people testing positive in the last 24 hours, followed by 1,460 in Prayagraj, 983 in Varanasi, 706 in Kanpur Nagar, 422 in Gorakhpur, 236 in Meerut, 235 in Jhansi, 221 in Gautam Buddh Nagar, 159 in Ghaziabad, 144 in Bareilly, 104 in Agra, 161 in Muzaffarnagar, 188 in Ballia, 139 in Barabanki, 123 in Mathura, 186 in Jaunpur, 127 in Rae Bareli, 140 in Ghazipur, 117 in Basti, 106 in Sultanpur and 101 in Mirzapur.

The number of tests in the state has also increasing. As many as 2,12,213 samples were tested on Friday, which is so far the highest in Uttar Pradesh. Out of these tests, around 93,000 used the RT-PCR method. In Uttar Pradesh, there are around 125 laboratories in the public sector and 104 laboratories in the private sector for Covid-19 test.

“The spread of infection is intense at present, and so we are increasing surveillance, testing and tracking of cases. In some districts, special measures have been taken, including imposition of night curfew and limiting 50 per cent occupancy in offices. Given the situation, people should avoid coming out of their houses unnecessarily. Those above 45 years should get their vaccines. All precautions should be taken,” said Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad.

So far, 71,87,199 have taken their first Covid vaccine shot, while 12,31,332 have received both the doses. Tika Utsav will be organised in the state from Sunday to April 14 and all arrangements, including availability of vaccines, have been made. People are requested to take the benefit of the festival, but also follow the basic protocols even at vaccination centres, he said.

Meanwhile, the state government claimed that it was gearing up to provide better medical care to Covid patients during the second wave. In a high-level meeting on Friday, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had instructed the authorities to set up three new dedicated Covid hospitals in the state capital in the next three days. These designated hospital will have isolation beds, ventilators, high-flow nasal canula machines and other important facilities.

After the spread of Covid infection in several districts of the state, the government has already ramped up health facilities in the state. The CM said patients from other places also visit Lucknow for treatment, hence the state capital should have better medical infrastructure. He also asked officials to make arrangements for additional human resources, so that patients can get better medical facilities.

In the battle against coronavirus, the government has given directions to escalate vaccination in Lucknow, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Agra, Gorakhpur, Meerut and Varanasi. The CM also said for effective prevention of Covid-19, action should be taken in accordance with the mantra of “test, trace, treat”. He also emphasised to maintain adequate availability of oxygen, health personnel, medicines, medical equipment and back-ups in Covid hospitals.

Earlier, he had said all government and non-government offices in Lucknow, Prayagraj, Varanasi and Kanpur cities may be allowed work from home as per convenience. However, during the Friday meeting, the CM had directed all government and non-government offices of Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi and Prayagraj to operate with 50 per cent occupancy or on shift basis. He ordered the senior officials to ensure vigilance and complete compliance of the Covid Protocol, including social distancing and shift-wise working, in offices.

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