UP govt extends lockdown by two more days

| | Lucknow
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UP govt extends lockdown by two more days

Tuesday, 04 May 2021 | PNS | Lucknow


Aiming to break the chain of coronavirus transmission, the Uttar Pradesh government has extended the weekend curfew by two more days. The state-wide curfew will now end on Thursday morning. The curfew was to end at 7 am on Tuesday.
Incidentally, the state government had earlier taken a stand of not imposing lockdown across the state which, it felt, would adversely affect the livelihood of people, especially of the lower strata. On April 19, the Allahabad High Court had slammed the Yogi government for its failure to control the second surge of Corona infections in Uttar Pradesh and urged the government to impose a 14-day lockdown in the state. A two-member bench comprising justices Siddharth Varma and Ajit Kumar rejected the state government’s plan to control the pandemic, saying that the government should give up the ‘My way or highway’ attitude and follow the court’s directives on tackling the situation.
“It is shameful for the state government failing to provide oxygen to patients dying due to lack of it,” the HC had observed. The same evening, a government spokesman issued a statement saying: “It s mandatory to save lives but it is equally important to save livelihood of the poor and therefore lockdown will not be imposed in cities. In many sectors people are willfully closing down their institutions.” Subsequently, the Yogi government moved the Supreme Court against the HC order and got a reprieve.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had said  in a meeting that the government was not in favour of a complete lockdown like Delhi and suggested that instead of the drastic measure, officials should increase the availability of oxygen and initiate strict action with those violating Covid protocols.
On the other hand, opposition parties said that the government's decision of not imposing a lockdown was a pointer to the fact that the Yogi government was giving precedence to panchayat elections rather than saving the lives of the people.
“Government should have suspended panchayat elections and stopped counting of votes. There is complete violation of Covid norms despite strict warning by the Supreme Court to conduct counting under Covid protocols. People have thronged counting centres and in some places police had to resort to lathicharge to disperse the mob. Had the government announced lockdown when the Allahabad High Court had asked it to do so, many lives would have been saved,” Samajwadi Party lawmaker Ujjawal Raman Singh told this reporter.
The panchayat elections ended on April 29 and counting of votes started on May 2 and ended by Monday evening.

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