With the coronavirus outbreak spreading to more than 100 countries, the Uttar Pradesh government on Friday announced the closure of all schools till March 22. So far 11 positive cases have been found in the state.
However, the examinations of various academic boards would continue to be held according to schedule and only normal classes would be suspended. A further decision would be taken after the next review meeting on March 20.
Addressing the media after chairing a meeting to review the situation and the preparedness of the government, chief minister Adityanath stressed upon the urgent need to create mass awareness in order to rein in panic.
Stressing that not everyone needs to wear a mask for coronavirus, he warned against possible black marketing of surgical masks and gloves in the present circumstances.
“The state government is taking all the necessary steps and we have so far trained 4,100 doctors and medical staff to tackle coronavirus, while 820 beds in the isolation wards across the 75 districts have been created in the district hospitals and medical colleges, both public and private,” he said.
While three testing facilities for coronavirus are already functioning in UP at Lucknow and Aligarh, two more such centres at Gorakhpur and Varanasi are being set up.
“This is an infectious disease and it needs to be controlled by exercising caution and spreading awareness,” he said recalling the adage of ‘prevention is better than cure’.
Meanwhile, the state has prepared a multipronged action plan to spread awareness on coronavirus by involving all the public related departments viz. basic education, secondary education, higher education, vocational training, skill development, medical health, rural development, panchayati raj etc.
The government will reach out to the masses through the mediums of radio, TV, FM radio, posters, handbills, hoardings etc.
“There is no need to create panic on the coronavirus issue and while we have yet not declared it as an epidemic, yet we are acting under the various provisions included in the epidemic act, which will soon be notified by the state health department,” the CM said.
He said that the coronavirus situation was well under control and the state government, together with the active cooperation of people, would score victory on the scourge.
The CM said UP shared a long international border with Nepal and thermal analysers had been deployed at border check posts for screening visitors, while similar precaution was being taken in the national capital region (NCR) areas, including Ghaziabad and Noida.
He also advised against mass gathering to prevent prospective spread of the disease and recalled the suspension of the Holi Milan programmes and the India-South Africa day-night match in Lucknow, which would now be held sans spectators.