Covid-19: UP govt announces weekend lockdown to cover Mondays too

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Lucknow, Apr 29 (PTI) Amid a surge in coronavirus cases, the Uttar Pradesh government Thursday decided to increase the duration of weekend lockdown by 24 hours, announcing that it will now cover Mondays too.

'The weekend closure will now be applicable from Friday 8 pm till Tuesday 7 am,' Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Navneet Sehgal said here.

He said that consequent to the decision, all shops and establishments will now remain closed between Friday 8 pm and Tuesday 7 am.

Presently, the weekend lockdown in the state begins at Friday 8 pm and ends at Monday 7 am.

The decision was taken at a review meeting chaired by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and will be implemented across the state starting this Friday.

During this period, all essential services will be allowed and vaccination drive will continue, the official said, but refused to term it a 'lockdown', preferring 'closure' instead.

The chief minister, according to a statement, said 'corona curfew' in night (from 8 pm to 7 am) should be implemented across the state strictly.

The CM said that the availability of Remdesivir drug is being ensured free of cost in government hospital and it is also being supplied to private hospitals.

He asked district administrations to keep the entire details of demand and supply, the statement said.

The DRDO is setting up a hospital each at Lucknow and Varanasi with all facilities, the CM said, adding it will start functioning soon.

'Oxygen supply is improving every day. Oxygen Express (trains) and air route are also used to bring in oxygen,' he said, adding attempts are being made to double the number of hospital beds.

He also reiterated that strict action should be taken against those involved in black-marketing of oxygen cylinder and medicines like Remdesivir.

The CM directed officials to constitute a panel of doctors to make people aware that there is no need to stock medicine and oxygen out of fear or panic.

He said that Uttar Pradesh has become the first state to have conducted four crore coronavirus tests and now attempts are being made ramp up the testing facility to double.

On complaints of certain hospitals and doctors over-charging coronavirus patients, the CM said action should be taken against them.

The CM also directed automatic three-month extension of registration of private hospitals, while also directing that all Community Health Centres (CHC) should be given 20 oxygen concentrators. PTI ABN TIR TIR