Lockdown to be lifted on April 14? Here’s what top official says

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Published: April 6, 2020 8:02:03 PM

Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi said the number of coronavirus infections in the state climbed to 305 on Monday and Tablighi Jamaat members accounted for more than half of these cases.

Awasthi said the number of coronavirus infections in the state climbed to 305 on Monday and Tablighi Jamaat members accounted for more than half of these cases.

As the number of COVID-19 cases breached the 300-mark in Uttar Pradesh on Monday, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi said it is impossible to say if the lockdown in the state will be lifted after April 14. His remarks come a day after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said the lockdown, which was imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus, will be lifted on April 15. He had also called for a mechanism to ensure crowding doesn’t take place, else all efforts will go to waste.

“Since the number of coronavirus cases has gone up markedly in the past couple of days, it would not be right to say that the lockdown will be lifted after April 14. If even one case remains, lifting it would not be right as the entire work done so far to control the virus would go in vain,” Awasthi said. “At this preliminary stage it is impossible to say if it will be lifted after April 14. It will take time,” he said. Awasthi said the number of coronavirus infections in the state climbed to 305 on Monday and Tablighi Jamaat members accounted for more than half of these cases.

“The total count of positive cases rose to 305 on Monday. Of the 27 fresh cases reported on Sunday, 21 are linked to the Tablighi Jamaat,” he said, adding that eight Tablighi Jamaat members tested positive in Sitapur, five each in Lucknow and Shamli, and one each in Bijnor, Kanpur and Prayagraj. As many as 159 of these 305 cases are linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, he said. At least 9,000 people had participated in a congregation at the Tablighi Jamaat’s Markaz (headquarters) in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area last month after which many travelled to various parts of the country for missionary works.

“Our priority is to first take up the treatment of patients who have tested positive and then those who came in contact with them, besides tracing the chain of other contacts,” Awasthi said. He said the list of contacts of COVID-19 patients has also grown manifold. Wherever cases have come to light, police have acted fast to ensure strict compliance of the lockdown, he added. Uttar Pradesh has so far reported three coronavirus deaths, one each from Basti, Meerut and Varanasi. At least 21 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals.

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