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 infections, 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,” Awasthi said.
He added that all markets will open from 9 am to 9 pm from Monday to Friday.
“This is being done to stop the spread of the infection through unwanted physical movement. Economic activities will, however, not suffer. Social activities will remain limited,” he said.
Awasthi said the curbs will remain effective in both urban and rural areas of the state.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also directed officials to carry out special cleanliness and sanitisation drives in all markets on weekends.
He said all industrial units should also be sanitised.
The chief minister was chairing a high-level meeting with officials of the state government at his residence.
Adityanath stressed on maintaining social distancing during construction activities.
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.
Police personnel were deployed 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. 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 travel agency.