WITH THE number of positive coronavirus cases in Uttar Pradesh jumping to 23, the UP government on Friday ordered the closure of all malls and shopping places, except emergency services and basic needs such as hospitals, medical stores and stores of confectionery and foodgrain items, till March 31.
The government also ordered the closure of outdoor patient department facilities and non-essential tests till March 31 in government hospitals and also ordered sanitisation of public places in three cities of Uttar Pradesh – Lucknow, Noida and Kanpur – following sudden rise in the number of coronavirus cases being reported in the state.
“Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has instructed that only emergency services are provided at the hospitals and all the unnecessary OPD and testing facilities are closed till March 31 in order to avoid unnecessary crowd at the hospitals” said an official statement issued by the government.
Meanwhile, King George’s Medical University (KGMU) in Lucknow said that as there are at least eight coronavirus patients undergoing treatment, people should avoid going there, unless necessary.
“All heads of departments have been directed that they decrease all the elective surgeries in their department to the minimum and immediately start the process to clear their wards by 70 percent. The appointments for routine checkup should not be given before next two months. It has been decided that all departments have to start digital OPD and details of two doctors who will be made nodal officer has to be provided,” read a statement issued by the KGMU administration.
With the endocrine surgery department HOD informed that patients in his OPD are significantly low, the OPD there has been closed till further notice.
The CM asked private institutions to ensure that employees “work from home as much as possible” and asked that the system can be applied to government departments and institutions also as per the need.
While religious leaders have been asked to ensure that there is no public gathering till April 2, the police have been asked to ensure that public does not gather at any place across the state. Strict checking has been ordered at all bus stations, airports, railway stations as well as state borders. Religious clerics have also been asked to spread the awareness message among the masses about the preventive steps to control the spread of the virus.
Amid reports about stock holding of essential items, District Magistrates have been instructed to ensure that there is no hoarding of goods.
In another significant step, Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel also ordered closure of Raj Bhawan for public till April 3,even as the government has restricted entry of visitors at all the secretariat buildings in the state. In case of need, the visitor passes would be issued after approval from officers not less than the rank of a secretary.
A government spokesperson said the public has been urged that all religious, cultural and even functions such as marriages be postponed till April 2. The government has suggested than in case of an urgent need, an attempt should be made to restrict the number of people at weddings to 10.
Principals of schools and colleges, which have all been closed till April 2, have been asked to ensure that neither the teaching nor non-teaching staff come to their workplaces.
To meet the shortage of sanitizers in the state, the government allowed usage of ethyl alcohol, made from sugarcane, for manufacturing of hand sanitizers.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary R K Tiwari, issued a government order instructing departments to create a roaster system for all sections of employees so that jjust 50 per cent of employees are present at the office at a time. The government has asked departmental heads to ensure that one set of employees attend office for a week and even set the timings for three shifts i.e. 9 am to 5 pm, 10 am to 6 pm and 11 am to 7 pm. The Chief Secretary has also urged employees complete their work using electronic devices and come to office only when called. The order would also be implemented to local bodies, Municipal corporations etc. However, the order would not apply to those departments, which are directly linked to the control and emergency services for COVID-19. The order will be applicable till April 4 as of now.
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