Coronavirus: COVID-19 hotspots in 15 UP districts including Noida, Ghaziabad sealed, essential items to be home delivered

Hotspots in 15 districts of Uttar Pradesh will be completely sealed from Wednesday midnight in view of growing cases linked to the deadly virus.

A deserted Noida street after a nationwide lockdown was announced. (Representational pic. PTI Photo)

Coronavirus hotspots in a total of 15 districts in Uttar Pradesh will be completely sealed and entry or exit totally barred in these areas starting today. The Uttar Pradesh government has informed that 15 districts have been identified with maximum load of COVID-19, meaning where the number of cases are more than six. Hotspots in these districts will be completely sealed from Wednesday midnight in view of growing cases linked to the deadly virus.

These 15 districts include Lucknow, Noida, Ghaziabad, Sitapur, Kanpur, Agra, Firozabad, Bareilly, Meerut, Shamli, Saharanpur, Bulandshahr, Varanasi, Maharajganj and Basti. The lockdown in these districts will now be enforced more strictly, officials said, adding that adequate arrangements are being made to ensure home delivery of essential items so that people do not step out of their homes for any reason whatsoever.

Chief Secretary RK Tiwari said that the decision was taken to seal the affected areas in the 15 districts as these districts have a viral load of COVID19. He said that only home delivery and medical teams will be allowed to operate until further order. “15 districts have a high viral load of coronavirus. So affected areas will be sealed,” Tiwari said. “It is being done to prevent community spread as numbers are high,” he added.

Additional Chief Secretary said that districts having six or more cases include Agra, Lucknow, Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar, Kanpur Nagar, Varanasi, Shamli, Meerut, Bareilly, Bulandshahr, Basti, Saharanpur, Maharajganj and Sitapur. “Lockdown will be observed only in the hotspots in these districts,” the official said, adding that the areas will be identified and a concrete action plan made ready by 5 PM today.

Of the 75 districts, 37 districts in the state have reported 326 coronavirus cases. Of the total cases, 166 are linked to the Tablighi Jamaat. The state has reported three coronavirus deaths, one each from Basti, Meerut and Varanasi.

Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry said death toll due to the novel coronavirus rose to 149 and the number of cases to 5,194 in the country on Wednesday. The Prime Minister had announced a nationwide lockdown for 21 days starting March 24 and ending April 14. A PTI report said on Tuesday that the Centre is considering extending the lockdown in line with the suggestions by states and experts. A final call on extending the lockdown may be taken following a meeting between PM Narendra Modi and chief ministers on April 11.

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