The Uttar Pradesh government has ordered a complete shutdown of Covid-19 hotposts in 15 districts to check the spread of novel coronavirus. The order will come into effect from 12 am tonight and continue till April 15.
All essential services will be home delivered and no one will be allowed to move out, sources in the government have said. Curfew passes will also be reviewed, Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Rajendra Kumar Tiwari has said.
The 15 districts where hotspots will be shut down are Lucknow, Agra, Ghaziabad, Gautambudh Nagar (Noida), Kanpur, Varanasi, Shamli, Meerut, Bareilly, Bulandshahar, Firozabad, Maharajganj, Sitapur, Saharanpur and Basti.
Earlier, UP Chief Secretary Rajendra Kumar Tewari said that all 15 districts shall be sealed. Later in a statement, ACS Home Awaneesh Awasthi clarified that the sealing will be effective only in hotspot areas of these 15 districts.
These districts have been selected for sealing on the basis of cases in the city. Sealing will be done in cities having six or more Covid-19.
The state government has identified 22 hotspots within Agra, 13 hotspots in Ghaziabad, 12 hotspots in Lucknow, Noida and Kanpur each, seven in Meerut, four hotspots have been identified in Varanasi, Saharanpur and Maharajganj each and three each in Shamli, Bulandhshr, Ferozabad and Basti.
What does sealing mean for 15 districts:
· People in the sealed hotspots will not be allowed to step out of the house for anything
· Essential commodities will be delivered at home. People can order groceries and medicines online.
· The government will set up a centralised call centre where people can call to place order for essential goods
· Curfew passes issued in all 15 districts will be reviewed and non-essential passes will be cancelled
· Vegetable and fruit markets and any other place where the crowd can gather will be sealed
· Anyone trying to enter or exit the seal area will be booked
· Each and every house of in the sealed zone will be sanitised
· Entry to media will also be banned in the sealed zone till April 15 morning, only government photographer may go in
Apart from the hotspots in the15 districts, the lockdown in the rest of the state will continue as per earlier directives.
A senior health official in the UP administration, Amit Mohan, on Wednesday, told media that masks have been made mandatory. Anyone who steps out of the house will have to wear a mask or cover their face.
Coronavirus cases have been reported from 37 districts of Uttar Pradesh with the number climbing to 326 on Wednesday. Of the total cases, 166 are linked to the Tablighi Jamaat. So far, the UP authorities have identified 1,600 people associated with the Jamaat. Of them, 1,200 have been quarantined.
Uttar Pradesh has so far reported three coronavirus deaths, one each from Basti, Meerut and Varanasi.
Age-wise distribution of Covid-19 cases in UP is – people between 0-20 years account for 16 per cent cases, patients aged 21-40 are 44 per cent, 41-60 years olds are 27 per cent among the sick and over 60 are 13 per cent.