The Uttar Pradesh government today warned against hoarding and black marketing of essential commodities amid rumours regarding the imminent shutdown of ration and food/vegetable shops following the coronavirus scare.
Chairing a review meeting, UP chief secretary R K Tiwari directed officials to take strict action against those spreading these rumours apart from unscrupulous elements looking to profit by hoarding or black marketing of essential and food supplies.
The state government has also appealed the people not to lend ears to rumours, since there was no shortage of food items, vegetables and fruits in the state.
The government is constantly monitoring the supplies of medicines, disinfectants and other essential used to control the spread of the disease.
Meanwhile, the government has urged the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) units to ramp up the production of hand sanitisers, masks and disinfectant contents to meet the growing demand. The authorities will also expedite the licensing processes for the manufacturing of these medical items.
The officials have been asked to increase the production of these products in the small manufacturing units operated in the different state prisons.
The government has already closed down schools and colleges in the state till April 2 to fight the disease.
Meanwhile, given the growing number of coronavirus cases in Lucknow, the local administration has ordered the closure of all restaurant, eateries, cafes and sweet shops in the district till March 31.
Of the total 23 positive cases of coronavirus detected in Uttar Pradesh so far, Agra and Lucknow top the tally with eight cases each, followed by Noida four, Ghaziabad two and Lakhimpur Kheri district one case.
In another directive, the DM has ordered the closure of all types of offices, business establishments and shops (except for hospitals, medical shops, pathology centres and those covered under the essential commodities act) in select areas of Lucknow till March 23.
These areas form a cluster of congruous localities in Lucknow, where fresh cases have been detected and the step has been taken to minimise the interaction in the local community to curb any prospective spread of the pandemic.
Yesterday, chief minister Yogi Adityanath had made an appeal to the religious leaders to come forward and create awareness in the community regarding coronavirus.
He said the navratri festival was near and it is marked with religious fairs and people thronging the temples to pay obeisance to the deity. However, in wake of the unprecedented situation arising out of coronavirus, the CM has urged the people to offer prayers inside their home so that it contributes towards the containment of the disease.
All the divisional commissioners, DMs and police officials have been directed to talk to the religious leaders and take their cooperation so that crowds could be avoided at religious places.