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Night curfew imposed in Lucknow as COVID-19 cases continue to surge across UP


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LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh reported 40 coronavirus fatalities, highest in recent weeks, and 6,023 new cases on Wednesday, pushing the toll to 8,964 and the tally to 6,45,930.

In a bid to effectively control the pandemic infection in the district, the Lucknow district administration said that all educational institutions, barring medical, nursing and para-medical institutes, would remain closed till April 15.

District Magistrate Abhishek Prakash said examinations would be allowed in recognised educational institutes with strict adherence to protocols.

Night curfew will be imposed in areas under the Lucknow Municipal Corporation from Thursday till April 16 from 9 pm to 6 am, the official said, as the coronavirus cases continue to surge.

Night curfew has also been imposed in Kanpur from 10 pm to 6 am and will remain in place till April 30, Kanpur District Magistrate Alok Tiwari said in a statement.

There will be exemption on ferrying essential items and there will be no ban on movement of goods vehicles, the Lucknow district magistrate said.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath held a video conference with several district magistrates.

Districts that are reporting more than 100 fresh cases everyday and have more than 500 active cases, the district magistrate may take a decision regarding holidays, barring examinations, depending upon local circumstances.

Stress was laid on COVID-19 testing of people at railway stations, bus stations for effective control over COVID-19 and for effective contract tracing.

Social distancing and masks have been made mandatory.

Fifty per cent of the ambulance should be reserved for COVID-19 patients, while rest for the non-COVID-19 patients, the state government said in a statement.

Six employees, working in the King George's Medical University vice chancellor's office, tested positive for coronavirus despite having received both shots of the vaccine, a doctor said.

This comes a day after as many as 39 KGMU doctors, including the vice chancellor, were found infected with the virus.

"The administration of the KGMU is extremely serious to stop the spread of the infection and screening has already started.

The administration is making every effort to stop the infection in the initial stage itself," KGMU spokesperson Sudhir Singh said.

The 40 new fatalities on Wednesday in the state include six from Lucknow, five from Kanpur, four from Ballia, three each from Allahabad and Varanasi, and two each from Moradabad, Ghazipur, Amroha and Fatehpur, according to a health bulletin.

Of the 6,023 new cases, 1,333 are from Lucknow, followed by 811 in Allahabad, 593 in Varanasi and 300 in Kanpur, among others.

As many as 6.05 lakh patients have recovered and there are 31,987 active cases, it said.

The District and Sessions Court in Lucknow has been closed for 48 hours in the view of rising infections among some court employees.

The court will now reopen on April 12.

The Central Bar Association requested the district judge not to pass adverse orders in any matter if a counsel was unable to turn up to argue the cases in the present scenario.

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav hit out at Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath over the "grim" situation.

"The number of infected persons and deaths is rising. But instead of making adequate arrangements, the chief minister is travelling in different states and delivering speeches as the BJP's star campaigner," Yadav said in a statement.

"The BJP is making false claims over controlling COVID-19 only to garner praises. The result is that there is a second wave of COVID-19," the SP leader said.

BSP president Mayawati said the central and the state governments, as well as the people, should take the surge in coronavirus cases very seriously.

"But inaction towards violation of COVID protocol, especially in election rallies and roadshows, is a matter of grave concern. It needs appropriate attention," she added.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)