Amid the partial lockdown across the state, the Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday issued fresh directives in view of the coronavirus pandemic. As per a new order, maximum of 25 people can attend a wedding and other functions and all attendees are required to strictly follow the COVID guidelines. Earlier, 50 attendees were allowed in enclosed places and 100 in open places for weddings.

In a letter to district officials, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi said permission will be given for participation of maximum 25 invitees at a time for wedding and other functions, both in open and enclosed places.

In an order issued on April 20, a maximum of 50 people were allowed in enclosed places and 100 in open places for weddings while following all necessary precautions relating to COVID.

Awasthi on Tuesday said, “Invitees will have to comply with COVID-appropriate protocols, with the use of masks and santisers.”

Social distancing will have to be strictly followed while making seating arrangements, besides making proper arrangements for sanitation and cleanliness of toilets at the venue where the function is being organised, he said in the order.

The responsibility of complying with these conditions will be that of organisers, the order said.

Lockdown extended till May 24

Meanwhile, to tackle the surge in coronavirus cases, the state government on Saturday extended the partial coronavirus curfew till 7 am of 24 May.

As per the orders, all shops and establishments are required to remain closed in containment zones. However, all essential services will be allowed and the Covid-19 vaccination drive will continue.

Outside containment zones, grocery shops, and shops selling essential items of daily use such as milk and vegetables can remain open. Pharmacies and shops selling surgical instruments will also not come under the purview of the order.

Though the government has said those searching for medicines and oxygen will not be stopped, it has already introduced an e-pass system.

The state, however, is now witnessing a slide in fresh cases with 8,737 new cases being reported on Tuesday taking the statewide tally to 16,37,663, a senior government official said.

The Union Government on Tuesday noted that 5 states/UTs- Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgath – are showing a decline in COVID-19 cases and decline in positivity rates. For the last few weeks, these states and UT had shown massive surge in coronavirus cases and high positivity rate.

The union health ministry further said, there is continued decline noted in active COVID-19 cases in last 15 days. From 17.13% of total caseload on May 3, it has reduced to 13.3%.

(With inputs from agencies)

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