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Lockdown in Lucknow, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Kanpur: Allahabad HC says UP govt didn’t plan for the pandemic despite last year’s outbreak

Public health, the Court said, is the top most priority and call of the moment and any complacency of any degree today will cause havoc to people.

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The Allahabad High Court on Monday imposed lockdown measures in Lucknow, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Gorakhpur and Kanpur in view of the increasing Coronavirus outbreaks in the districts and cities named. The lockdown will be in force till April 26, Monday next.         

The bench of Justice Ajit Kumar and Justice Siddhartha Varma said the court had to step in as no plan had been put forward by the government of Uttar Pradesh, necessitating the court’s intervention.

The Court said that the medical system could collapse if urgent measures are not taken.

Public health, the Court said, is the top most priority and call of the moment and any complacency of any degree today will cause havoc to people.

“We can’t shirk away from our constitutional duty to save innocent people from the pandemic which is spreading due to the negligence of a few,”

-the Bench noted.

The Court has issued issued the following orders to the State authorities to be enforced in the cities of Prayagraj, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur Nagar and Gorakhpur:

1. All establishments be it government or private, except financial institutions and financial departments, medical and health services, industrial and scientific establishments, essential services including municipal functions, and public transport, shall remain closed till 26th April, 2021. The judiciary will however, function on its own discretion;

2. All shopping complexes and malls shall remain closed till 26th April, 2021;

3. All grocery shops and other commercial shops excluding medical shops, with more than three workers shall remain closed till 26th April, 2021;

4. All hotels, restaurants and even the small eating points on thelas etc. shall remain closed till 26th April, 2021;

5. All institutions like educational institutions and other institutions relating to other disciplines and activities be it government, semi government or private shall remain closed including for their teachers and instructors and other staff till 26th April, 2021 (this direction is for the whole of Uttar Pradesh);

6. No social functions and gatherings including marriage functions shall be permitted till 26th April, 2021. However, in case of already fixed marriages a necessary further permission would have to be taken from the District Magistrate of the concerned district. Gatherings would be limited to 25 persons and the district magistrate concerned shall take decision after giving due consideration to the prevailing situation of the impact of Covid 19 including notification of containment zones in the area where such marriage has to take place;

Also Read: Clearing Delhi-Noida road: Supreme Court posts hearing to May 7

7. All religious activities in public of any kind is directed to remain suspended till 26th April, 2021;

8. All religious establishments of any kind are directed to remain closed till 26th April, 2021;

9. All hawkers including fruits and vegetable vendors, milk vendors and bread vendors, shall go off the road by 11 AM every day till 26th April, 2021;

10. Containment zones shall be notified every day in two leading Hindi and English newspapers having wide circulation in the districts of Prayagraj, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur Nagar/ Dehat and Gorakhpur.

11. All public movements on roads would remain restricted completely, subject to above directions. Movements would be only allowed in case of medical help and emergencies.

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