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Schools shut in Uttar Pradesh till April 4 amid COVID-19 case surge

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Lucknow, Mar 31: With the number of coronavirus cases increasing in the state, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has extended the closure of all schools up to Class 8 to April 4. Earlier, the State government had ordered the closure of schools for students up to Class 8 till March 31.

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Till Tuesday night, Uttar Pradesh recorded 918 new cases and 10 deaths due to the deadly virus. Lucknow topped the list with 446 new cases in a day. In another important move, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed all departments to provide a day's leave to the employees going for vaccination.

"The government employees going in for Covid-19 vaccination must be given a day's off on their due date. Likewise, similar arrangements must be made for private sector employees too," the chief minister said in a statement.

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Expressing concern over the decline in the number of coronavirus tests conducted during the Holi break and the simultaneous surge in the number of cases, Yogi Adityanath directed officials to ensure that the COVID-19 containment plan is implemented in the true sense.

About 67,000 COVID-19 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours which is way less than the state's daily average of about 1.25 lakh tests. The chief minister told officials that the number of tests must be increased immediately and the average of 1.5 lakh tests per day must be achieved and maintained.

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Stating that all suspected cases must be tested through the RT-PCR method, he said that at least 50 per cent of all tests conducted should be done through this gold standard method.

He told officials to intensify focused testing exercise and ensure that no vulnerable pockets, including old age homes, protection homes, residential schools and hostels are left out.

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