The Uttar Pradesh government has imposed a complete lockdown in the state on Sunday in view of rising Covid-19 cases. Essential services, however, will be exempted during the lockdown period. The restrictions will come into effect on Saturday at 8 PM and remain in place till Monday 7 AM.

The state government said that there will a complete lockdown in the both urban and rural regions of the state on Sunday. All government and private offices will be closed and a massive sanitisation programme will be carried out across all 75 districts. 

The government has also decided to penalise those found flouting Covid-19 rules. Those found roaming without face mask will be fined Rs 1,000 and repeat offenders will be fined Rs 10,000.

The decision was taken at a meeting presided over by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Adityanath, who tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday, has also ordered action under the Epidemic Act against hospitals that refuse admission to Covid-19 patients. He has said that a hefty fine will also be imposed on such hospitals.

Uttar Pradesh has shown a steep rise in COVID-19 daily cases. The state recorded 22,439 fresh cases of Covid-19 on Thursday. Lucknow accounted for 5,183 of the cases followed by Prayagraj with 1,888, Varanasi with 1,859, Kanpur with 1,263 and Gorakhpur with 750 fresh cases of infection.

Meanwhile, timings for night curfew in ten districts including Lucknow have been revised in view of the worsening Covid situation. The curfew will now begin at 8 PM and end at 7 AM. Besides Lucknow, night curfew is presently in force in Prayagraj, Varanasi, Kanpur City, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Gorakhpur, Shravasti and Moradabad.

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