Citing “good public response” to its first weekend lockdown, UP on Sunday decided to continue with the concept of a stop-start shutdown for two days each week till it gets a grip on the spread of Covid-19. In J&K, parts of the Valley went into complete lockdown following a surge in coronavirus deaths in Srinagar over the past two weeks. Late Sunday, the Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad municipal corporations issued identical orders for a strict lockdown from July 14 to 18 and, thereafter, with some relaxations from July 19 to 23.
Karnataka, too, contemplated a statewide lockdown, a day after announcing that Bengaluru would be shut from 8pm on July 14 to 5am on July 22. As the number of Covid-19 cases raced towards the 40,000 mark, pressure mounted on chief minister BS Yediyurappa to take a call on extending the lockdown to the rest of the state. Sources said they expected a decision on Monday.
In UP, the decision to clamp a lockdown every weekend till further orders was taken at a meeting presided over by CM Yogi Adityanath, who underlined the need for restricting social activities on Saturdays and Sundays while allowing economic activity to be carried out “with all possible precautions” throughout the week.
The government had imposed restrictions starting 10pm on July 10 till 5am on July 13. The extension announcement came even as the number of active Covid cases in UP rose to 12,208 while the death toll stood at 934. Till Sunday evening, more than 12,000 people were in hospital isolation wards across the state.
Additional chief secretary (home) Awanish Awasthi said the weekend restrictions won’t apply to continuously operating industrial units and infrastructure development, including construction of expressways and other road projects.
The J&K administration’s decision to reimpose a lockdown in parts of the Valley was based on suggestions from various quarters, divisional commissioner (Kashmir) Pandurang K Pole said.
(With inputs from Lucknow, Srinagar, Pune and Bengaluru)