A three-day lockdown will be imposed Wednesday in all 75 districts in Uttar Pradesh to fight the coronavirus outbreak, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced while warning that a curfew may also be clamped in some areas.
A lockdown is already in place in 18 of the districts in the state that has so far reported 35 cases of coronavirus.
The restrictions in 17 districts began on Monday and were initially scheduled to last up to Wednesday.
Shamli was added to the list on Tuesday, hours before the CM announced the government's decision to extend the lockdown to the rest of the country's most populous state.
"The entire state will be locked down from Wednesday till March 27," Adityanath said after holding a video conference with officials.
He said there may be a need to impose a curfew in some areas, and the decisions will be taken by the district administrations along with their chief medical officers.
Adityanath asked people to stay at their homes. There will no conveyance available and the state borders have been sealed.
The CM said daily-wage workers should get their fixed earnings during the lockdown and steps are being taken to ensure this.
He asked people not to use masks unnecessarily, saying this creates panic. Masks are not needed by all and only those who need them should use them," he said.
Adityanath said directives have been issued to curb hoarding and overcharging. If anyone is found doing so, a case should be lodged by the local administration," he added.
Additional Chief Secretary (Home and Information) Awanish Awasthi said in the past 24 hours 350 FIRs were lodged against such offenders.
According to reports received from police in districts already under a lockdown, 32,830 vehicles were checked on Monday. Of them, 13,219 were challaned and 532 seized.
Offenders paid up fines totalling Rs 4.80 lakh, Awasthi said. Briefing reporters, he warned that action will also be taken against those who spit 'paan masala' and gutkha' in public places.
People have been advised to remain at home and not visit parks till April 14, he said.
The official said all protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act have been cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus spread.
The chief minister has set up four committees headed by Chief Secretary, Agriculture Production Commissioner, Industrial and Infrastructure Development Commissioner, and ACS (Home) to monitor the situation following the coronavirus threat.
The 17 districts initially laced under lockdown are Agra, Lucknow, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Moradabad, Varanasi, Lakhimpur Kheri, Bareilly, Azamgarh, Kanpur, Meerut, Allahabad, Aligarh, Gorakhpur, Saharanpur, Pilibhit and Jaunpur.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)