Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], April 29 (ANI): Amid a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Uttar Pradesh, the state government on Thursday extended the weekend lockdown in the state to three days.
According to an order issued by the state government on Thursday, the weekend lockdown in the state will now be in place from Friday night till Tuesday morning. Earlier, it was from Friday night to Monday morning.
As per the order, all markets, private and public offices will be closed from Friday night to Tuesday morning till further orders. Markets, shopping malls, and restaurants will also remain shut.
The government has advised people to remain indoors and only those involved in essential services will be exempted from the restrictions. Medical shops and hospitals will remain open during the lockdown. Religious places will also remain closed, as per the order.
The order comes days after the Allahabad High Court pulled up the Uttar Pradesh government following the rise in COVID-19 cases in the state, saying it got "complacent" following the weakening of the virus and got more involved in the Panchayat elections.
"It is now an open secret that government had gone complacent due to weakening of virus impact by the end of 2020 in the state and the government got more involved in other activities including Panchayat elections," the high court said on Tuesday.
The court had also noted that it will not tolerate any paperwork or public announcements to show account of the steps taken by the state government and its sufficiency amid the worsening COVID-19 situation.
Last week, the Uttar Pradesh government had announced that the weekend lockdown in districts having more than 2,000 active cases will be in place from Friday 8 pm to Monday 7 am. The state government had in its earlier order said that districts with over 500 active COVID cases will continue to remain under night curfew, effective from 8 pm to 7 am every day.
Uttar Pradesh is among the ten states that reported 72.20 per cent of the new cases. The state reported 29,751 new COVID -19 cases in the last 24 hours, the health ministry said.
As per the ministry, Uttar Pradesh is among the eleven states that cumulatively account for 78.26 per cent of India's total active cases. The state currently has 3,00,041 active COVID-19 cases. (ANI)