NEW DELHI: The Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government has imposed a weekend lockdown in view of rising coronavirus COVID-19 cases in the state. All market offices will remain closed at all urban and rural areas across the state, whereas all essential services will be exempted from any restrictions. 

As per the notification issued by the state, the restrictions will come into effect at 8 pm on Saturday night and remain in place until 7:00 am on Monday. On Sunday, there will a complete lockdown in both urban and rural regions across the state. 

The Uttar Pradesh government said that a massive sanitisation programme will be carried out across all 75 districts during this period. Along with this, the government also issued directions to authorities to impose fines on those found without wearing face masks. A fine of Rs 1000 will be imposed on those caught without face masks for the first time and 10 times the fine amount for those caught again. 

“There will be a weekly closure in all rural and urban areas of the state on Sunday. Only sanitation, sanitisation and emergency services will operate during this period. Necessary awareness works should also be done in this regard,” an official statement said here quoting Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

“A fine of Rs 1000 will be imposed if someone is caught without mask for the first time. If caught for the second time, a penalty of ten times the fine amount should be imposed,” the statement read. On April 15, Uttar Pradesh reported 104 deaths and 22,439 fresh cases, pushing the fatality count to 9,480 and the total infection number to 7,66,360.

CM Yogi said that last year, the MLA development fund proved useful in the work related to spread of the virus. This year also, according to rules, the funds can be used in COVID management on recommendation of legislators. He said the first phase of panchayat elections was completed in a very peaceful manner and strict legal action should be taken against those involved in breaching peace at some places so that it can set an example for other phases of the polls.

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