Allahabad HC orders lockdown in five UP cities; Yogi govt refuses to comply
The Allahabad High Court on Monday asked the Yogi Adityanath government to impose lockdown in five cities of Uttar Pradesh where Covid situation has been deteriorating in a daily basis. However, the Uttar Pradesh government insisted that it has initiated strict steps to control the spiralling coronavirus graph and would not impose ‘total lockdown’ as it would hit the people hard. The government said that while saving lives was important, safeguarding the livelihood was equally necessary.
The high court had suggested that lockdown should be imposed in capital Lucknow, Prayagraj,Varanasi, Kanpur Nagar and Gorakhpur where high virus load has been reported.
“We are of the considered view that in given scenario of present time if people are restrained from going outside their homes for a week in the first instance, the current chain of the spread of COVID infection can be broken and this will also give some respite to the frontline medical and health workers who would pay more attention to those patients who are already admitted,” the court observed.
“Accordingly we are passing the following directions in respect of cities of Prayagraj, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur Nagar and Gorakhpur, and we direct the government to strictly enforce them forthwith: All establishments be it government or private, except financial institutions and financial departments, medical and health services, industrial and scientific establishments, essential services including municipal functions, and public transport, shall remain closed till 26th April, 2021. The judiciary will, however, function on its own discretion. All shopping complexes and malls shall remain closed till 26th April, 2021,” the court said in its order.
The Uttar Pradesh government has already announced a lockdown across the state on all Sundays till May 15 amid a surge in COVID-19 cases. The government has also said those caught for the second time not wearing a mask will be fined Rs 10,000. The first time fine for not wearing a mask has been doubled to Rs 1,000 and officials have been directed to run a special campaign for sanitisation across the state.