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16 districts in UP locked down

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Lucknow, Mar 23: Sixteen districts in Uttar Pradesh, including Lucknow, will be locked down till Wednesday amid a spurt in coronavirus cases in the state.

The districts where the lockdown has been enforced in the first phase are Lucknow, Agra, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Ghaziabad, Varanasi, Allahabad, Kanpur, Aligarh, Moradabad, Lakhimpur Kheiri, Bareilly, Azamgarh, Meerut, Gorakhpur, Saharanpur and Pilibhit.

Yogi Adityanath

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday told reporters in Gorakhpur that 15 districts in the state will be under lockdown in the first phase.

The lockdown will continue till Wednesday, he said, appealing to people to stay in their homes.

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In a late night order, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi said Pilibhit has also been added to the list of districts that will be shutdown in the first phase.

Barring essential services, all government offices, educational institutes, autonomous bodies, business establishments, private offices, malls, shops, factories, godowns and public transport will remain closed in these districts, the state government said.

The government will time to time evaluate the situation and redefine the essential services, Principal Secretary Medical, Health and Family Welfare Amit Mohan Prasad said.

The services that have been declared as essential are medical, health and family welfare, medical education, home, intelligence/prison administration, police/armed force and para-military forces, personnel department and district administration, energy, urban development, food and civil supplies, disaster relief, fire services, civil defence, information, emergency services, telephone, internet, network services and IT-enabled services.

Postal services, banks, ATMs, insurance companies, e-commerce, print, electronic and social media, petrol pumps, LPG gas, oil agencies, medicines shops, medical equipment shops and medicine producing units, units related to agriculture production and animal fodder too have been classified as essential services.

The chief minister asked people to avoid unnecessary gathering at public places. "We are standing at a juncture where even a slight laxity can prove to be harmful," he said.

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Adityanath said officials of the police and district administration would patrol these districts. "We will review the situation tomorrow. If any family needs anything in emergency, 112 service of the state police will be available," he said.

He said the districts where the lockdown has been enforced are those where coronavirus cases have been reported. "These districts will be thoroughly sanitised. Cleanliness drives are already going on for the last three days," the chief minister said.

"People from Mumbai, Surat and other places arrived in large numbers at Jaunpur, Mirzapur, Mau, Kushinagar, Jhansi, Ghazipur, Ayodhya, Basti, Barabanki, Deoria, Ballia, Santkabirnagar and Gonda district yesterday and today. My appeal to them is to stay at home. The administration is making the list of such persons and making provisions to keep them separately," he said.

On the slightest suspicion, they would be immediately sent to isolation wards and given free treatment, he said.

He asked residents of Nepal bordering districts like Maharajganj, Siddharthanagar, Shrawasti, Balrampur, Bahraich and Pilibhit to remain alert. "If there are any health issues, people can call on 102 and 108 helpline numbers," the chief minister said.

The Uttar Pradesh State Roadways Transport Corporation will remain completely closed from Monday to Wednesday.

"No bus from Uttar Pradesh will go to Nepal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan or any other state," he said.

The chief minister said to spread awareness, the state government has put huge hoardings, posters etc. outside every gram panchayat, school, hospitals and religious places.

"We have already made arrangements for labourers, daily wagers, street vendors and others," he said.

Late Sunday night, Adityanath held a meeting with officials and directed them to ensure a successful lockdown.

He said passengers arriving at railway stations and bus stands should be screened for the coronavirus infection and sufficient equipment required in isolation wards must be ensured.

The state has reported 27 coronavirus cases so far, the Union Health Ministry said on Sunday.

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