Uttar Pradesh lockdown: As cases continue to surge in India's most populous state, five cities are scheduled to undergo lockdown starting tonight. The Allahabad High Court has directed Prayagraj, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur Nagar and Gorakhpur to observe a complete lockdown between April 19 and 26.
This directive comes following the announcement earlier today of a similar week-long lockdown. Full details here.
Essential services like groceries and medical facilities will be functional. Large capacity locations like malls, religious places and institutions will remain shut for the week.
Uttar Pradesh Lockdown Follows Delhi's, Both States Among Worst Affected
Maharashtra, followed by Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, is leading the rise in the daily national count of COVID-19 cases. For the three states, daily cases recorded as of April 19 at 8:00 am stand at 68631, 30566 and 25462 respectively. Our coronavirus coverage here.
As per Bar & Bench, Justices Ajit Kumar and Siddhartha Varma issued the lockdown order on Monday, noting, "Those in the helm of affairs of governance are to be blamed for the present chaotic health problems and more so when there is a democracy which means a government of the people, by the people and for the people."
The court upheld that UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath himself was in isolation after testing positive for the virus last week and that facilities for patients at government hospitals were not equally available. "...admission of patients to ICUs are largely being done on the recommendation of VIPs," it said.
UP, like some other states, is reportedly facing a shortage of medical necessities like hospital beds and the Remdesivir injection, while crematoriums are also reported to be at maximum capacity. More on that here.