Covid Surge: UP govt allows only 5 persons at a time in religious places

LUCKNOW – The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has decided to prohibit the entry of more than five persons at a time in all religious places.

Lucknow reported a staggering 4,059 fresh Covid-19 cases on Saturday, taking its tally of active cases to 16,690.

Following a late-night review meeting on Saturday, the Chief Minister imposed fresh restrictions by capping the number of devotees entering a religious place at a time.

The move is significant considering that the festival of ‘Navratri’ is scheduled to begin from Tuesday and the month of Ramzan will commence from Wednesday.

Meanwhile, even as the state capital faces a massive crunch of hospital beds, the state government has decided to convert three hospitals, Era Medical College, TS Mishra Medical College and Integral medical College, into dedicated Covid facilities.

The Chief Minister directed officials to arrange for at least 2,000 ICU beds immediately and another 2,000 Covid beds must be arranged for within a week.

From Sunday, the Balrampur Hospital will also be starting a 300-bed Covid facility.

The Chief Minister has allocated one hospital each to the medical education minister, principal secretary (medical education) and secretary (medical education) and the Balrampur Hospital to the state Health Minister.

They will survey the hospitals and start the process for converting them to dedicated Covid facilities immediately. They will also ensure that there is sufficient trained manpower available at all four hospitals, including ventilators and high flow nasal cannula.

The district magistrate has been directed to ensure that there is no shortage of oxygen in any Covid hospital in the district.

The Chief Minister further said that comprehensive contact tracing was needed. “At least 30-35 people who could have come in contact with a positive person have to be identified and tested. Ambulances should be linked with the integrated command and control centre so that patients can get ambulance services on time. There should be ‘nigrani committees’ in every village and in every block of the urban local body,” he said.

Containment zones will be monitored strictly and nobody will be allowed to enter or leave.

He also focussed on the need for carrying out a cleanliness, sanitization and fogging drive across the district.

This, he said, should especially be done at bus stations, railway stations, airports, crossings and all crowded places.

Police, fire services, housing development and development authority should assist in this exercise.

The Chief Minister also directed the police commissioner to initiate a dialogue with traders and shopkeepers so that social distancing can be maintained in markets.

The state government has already imposed a night curfew in the Lucknow municipal area from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Directions have also been issued to limit the number of staff in the government and private offices to 50 per cent of the total capacity. -IANS

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