New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In the latest set of guidelines, the Uttar Pradesh government has announced that shops and offices in the state will remain closed on Sundays only, instead of the two-day weekend lockdown. Speaking with News agency PTI, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi on Tuesday said, “The chief minister has instructed that there will be no weekly closure on Saturdays, and shops can remain open from 9 am to 9 pm."

“However, shops will remain closed on Sundays from midnight of Saturday to midnight of Sunday,” he added.

Notably, the government had in July announced that shops and offices will be operational for five days a week, a move that was aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus infection.

Following the guidelines issued by Union Home Ministry over unlock 4.0 on August 29, the state government also introduced some relaxation in an attempt to spur economic growth in the state. It has allowed social and religious congregations of up to 100 people from September 21. The UP government said that it will soon issue the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the resumption of metro services across the state. 

The state government also noted that district magistrates (DMs) will not be able to impose a lockdown outside containment zones, adding that there will no restriction of movement of person and goods in the state. However, schools, colleges and other educational and coaching institutions will remain closed for students till September 30, with some relaxations for students of classes 9 to 12 (September 21 onwards).

Meanwhile, the death toll in the state on Tuesday rose to 3,542, with the detection of 5,571 fresh cases pushing the state''s infection count to 2,35,757. As per the health bulletin issued by the UP government on Tuesday, of the 5,571 fresh COVID-19 cases, 760 were reported in state capital Lucknow, 370 in Kanpur, 315 in Gorakhpur and 301 in Prayagraj. Aligarh reported 166 new cases, Meerut 151 and Varanasi 146.

Posted By: Rakesh Kumar Jha