Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to impose a stricter lockdown across the state on weekends to stop the coronavirus spread, a senior official said on Sunday.
The decision has come amid a spike in the number of infection cases, which had crossed 35,000 on Saturday.
Additional Chief Secretary (Home and Information) Awanish Awasthi told PTI that the restrictions will be imposed from coming Saturday and remain in place at least for July.
“The lockdown on weekends will be implemented from the coming Saturday and Sunday, especially in crowded areas. Markets and offices will remain closed on these days. However, banks will remain open,” Awashi said.
“This is being done basically to stop the spread of the infection through unwanted physical movement. Economic activities will, however, not suffer,” he added.
Awasthi said the curbs will remain effective in both urban and rural areas of the state.
Meanwhile, shops and business establishments, other than those dealing in essential services, remained closed in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday.
The state government had on Thursday announced 55-hour-long restrictions from 10 pm on Friday till 5 am on Monday following a surge in coronavirus cases.
However, it kept essential services and religious places out of the ambit of the restrictions.
Only vehicles carrying essential goods were seen plying as roads wore a deserted look, as tempos, taxis and government buses did not operate.
Policemen were posted at all prominent crossings of state capital Lucknow and other cities.
Markets in prominent areas of Lucknow such as Hazratganj, Aminabad, Chowk, Gomtinagar, Indiranagar, Latouche Road, Alambagh, Hewett Road, Aliganj and Gudumba remained shut. However, the shops selling essential items were open.
In Kanpur, Naveen Market, Somdutt Plaza, Civil Lines, Meston Road, Panki, Chamanganj, Kidwainagar and other areas remained closed.
In Allahabad, the main markets in the Civil Lines, Mutthiganj, Lukerganj, Badshahi Mandi, Ashoknagar and Nawab Yusuf Ali Road were closed.
“Most shops in the Civil Lines area (Allahabad) remained closed, and will open on Monday,” said Abhilash Basak, who runs a tour and travels agency.