900,000 people under 'complete lockdown' as UP seals more Covid-19 hotspots

UP CM Yogi Adityanath | Photo: PTI
The Uttar Pradesh government has increased the number of coronavirus ‘hotspots’ sealed for complete lockdown to contain the spread of the pandemic.

While, the state had identified and sealed 104 coronavirus hotspots in 15 districts under 81 police station areas on Wednesday, the number has now jumped to 125 areas under 89 police stations, UP additional chief secretary Awanish Kumar Awasthi told the media here this evening.

These districts include Agra, Ghaziabad, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Lucknow, Varanasi, Shamli, Meerut, Bareilly, Bulandshahr, Kanpur, Basti, Ferozabad, Saharanpur, Maharajganj and Sitapur.

Of the total 448 coronavirus cases identified in UP so far, 329 cases pertain to these 125 hotspots alone, he said adding the containment of the infection in these hubs was key to fighting the pandemic in the state.

“The lockdown strategy adopted by the state government is being appreciated ad replicated in other states too,” he claimed. The hotspots have been sealed completely till the end of the 21-day lockdown period on April 14.

A population of almost 900,000 is now under complete lockdown, while the state has identified 141,000 houses in these areas. The authorities had identified 2,942 coronavirus suspects in these localities, of which 2,863 had already been quarantined, he informed.

Meanwhile, Awasthi said the district authorities had also started the process of identifying and sealing hotspots under their local jurisdiction and so far 55 such areas had been ascertained for action. These 55 areas account for 68 coronavirus cases, thereby meaning that nearly 400 of the total cases identified in UP so far are being accounted by the coronavirus hotspots alone, he added.

The state has decided to enforce ‘social distancing’ norms more strictly in the banks, apart from ensuring that every citizen wears a facemask while venturing outside, since it has been made mandatory.

The UP Police have lodged 14,342 first information reports (FIR) and booked almost 45,483 persons under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for defying the lockdown norms pertaining to the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. More than 35,000 accused have been arrested too.

Meanwhile, the state government has identified 2,428 Tablighi Jamaat attendees hailing from 20 districts, including Meerut, Bareilly, Agra, Lucknow, Kanpur, Prayagraj, Gorakhpur, Gautam Budh Nagar (Noida) etc. Of these, 2,231 have been quarantined.

Besides, 315 foreigners, who had attended the Jamaat convention in Delhi, have been identified, of which the passport of 259 persons have been confiscated. Sixty six others were found to be Nepali citizens, who do not need a passport to enter India. The state police have filed over 42 FIRs in this regard.

He said nearly 10,400 samples were tested for coronavirus yesterday, which was a record number. “The chief minister has emphasised on the need to increase the number of tests to contain the disease.”

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