Twenty hotspots in Delhi and 15 districts in Uttar Pradesh have been completely sealed off to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Crushing hopes of a complete exit from the ongoing lockdown in one go, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 8, said the country is facing a “social emergency” like situation as well as severe economic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a sharp spike in the infections, taking the nationwide positive cases to 5,059 with at least 166 deaths.
After an interaction with PM Modi via video conference, several state leaders said the lockdown might not be entirely lifted after April 14, and the PM told them that the pre-corona and post-corona life wouldn’t be the same.
PM Modi further stated that states, district administration and experts have suggested extending the lockdown beyond April 14 to combat the spread of the virus.
Delhi 20 hotspot to be sealed
Following this, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held an emergency meeting on April 8, with senior ministers and top officials of the Delhi government and took a series of decision to combat the spread of the virus.
After the meeting, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia announced that the Delhi government have decided to seal off 20 coronavirus hotspots in the state entirely. During the announcement, he assured that the government would ensure the delivery of essential items in these areas.
According to the government, the 20 hotspots include parts of Sangam Vihar, Malviya Nagar and Jahangir Puri that have been notified as “containment areas”.
“Nobody will be allowed to enter or exit from these areas, and the government will ensure the delivery of essential items there”, he told reporters.
Wearing of facial masks can reduce the spread of corona virus substantially. Therefore, it has been decided that facial masks will be compulsory for anyone stepping out of their house. Cloth mask shall be eligible too.
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 8, 2020
The government also made face masks compulsory for people stepping out of their homes in the national capital, where 576 cases of coronavirus have been reported so far. The figure includes nine people who died and 21 who recovered. No new case has been reported over the last 24 hours.
UP Seals Hotspots in 15 Districts
The Uttar Pradesh government on April 8, decided to completely seal off coronavirus hotspots in 15 districts to check to the spread of the infection, stating curfew-like restrictions in these areas.
The orders came as the state’s coronavirus count reached 361 with 29 new cases being reported. The state’s as on April 8, has reported five deaths due to COVID-19.
The earlier news wrongly stating that the entire districts will be sealed off had triggered panic buying.
The restrictions in these pockets will be stricter than those under the lockdown already in place.
Unlike in the lockdown so far, people will not be allowed to go out to buy groceries. Officials announced the administration would ensure doorstep delivery of essential items in these clusters.
Passes issued to allow essential movement is cancelled in these hotspots which will remain sealed up to April 15 morning, when the current three-week nationwide lockdown is scheduled to end.
Additionally, the government stated it is doubling testing for coronavirus about 1,500 tests will now be conducted in the state daily and will make wearing face masks mandatory for those moving out of their homes.
The identified hotspots include 22 clusters in Agra, 13 in Ghaziabad, 12 each in Gautam Buddh Nagar and Kanpur, seven in Meerut and four each in Varanasi, Sahanaranpur and Maharajganj.
There are three hotspots in Shamli, Bulandshahr, Basti and Firozabad, and one each in Bareilly and Sitapur. State capital Lucknow has eight major and four minor COVID-19 clusters.