The city administration on Tuesday imposed restrictions on the movement of people as well as good and services along all borders of Varanasi amid a lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic.
Police barricaded roads and checked thoroughly those entering and leaving the city which is also regarded as the spiritual capital of India.
Keeping in line with the Centre's directives of lockdown in districts which have confirmed cases of coronavirus across the country, the administration in Varanasi has ordered special restrictions under Section 144 in the region from March 23.
The imposition of Section 144 disallows the assembly of five or more people at a place.
According to an order issued by District Magistrate (DM) Kaushal Raj Sharma, on Sunday, all private vehicles including bikes, cars and even bicycles are not allowed on the roads during the period. The borders of the district have also been sealed.
Apart from emergency services, plying of the buses too has been suspended for the duration of the order which will remain in effect until March 25.
However, emergency and essential services such as the delivery of milk, rations, logistics, samples of pathology labs have been exempted from the border restrictions, among other activities, similarly, shops selling essential commodities have also been allowed to stay open while all other commercial establishments, shops, educational institutes, restaurants, hotels will remain closed during the entire duration.
The restrictions will, however, not apply to the health department and facilities, security personnel, judicial reform services, water department, and emergency services.
In addition, all foreigners coming to Varanasi will be under observation and will be kept in-home quarantine, the local residents have also been urged to practice social distancing.
Earlier, this month the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple was closed for devotees till March 24, based on an order by DM Sharma. He had, however, ordered the routine offering of prayers by priests to continue.
The restrictions will be in place till March 25, according to the order issued by the DM's office.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that he would communicate with the people of his Lok Sabha constituency on March 25 to discuss the situation arising out of the pandemic infection.
Uttar Pradesh had till Sunday evening 27 confirmed cases of coronavirus, including one foreign citizen.
Nine of the 27 cases had also been cured, discharged or migrated, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The Uttar Pradesh government has put 16 districts under total lockdown in the state which are Agra, Lucknow, Gautam Budh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Moradabad, Varanasi, Lakhimpur Khiri, Bareilly, Azamgarh, Kanpur, Meerut, Prayagraj, Aligarh, Gorakhpur, Pilibhit and Saharanpur.
The number of coronavirus positive patients in India rose to 471 on Monday, as per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)