New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Hours after the Supreme Court puts on hold the Allahabad High Court's order to impose lockdown in 5 cities, the Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday announced that a weekend curfew will be imposed in the entire state. 

The weekend curfew in UP will start from Friday evening at 8 pm and will continue till Monday morning at 7 am. The state government has, however, allowed all essential services during the weekend curfew. Meanwhile, the order also stated that the prevailing night curfew in all districts of the state with over 2,000 active cases has been extended to all districts across the state.

"All weekly markets and shopping complexes will be closed during the weekly lockdown and sanitization will be done on Saturday and Sunday. Necessary services, however, will not be interrupted during this time", the order by the UP government stated. 

The order to impose weekend curfew in the entire state came hours after the Supreme Court granted an interim stay on the Allahabad High Court order directing lockdown in five cities of Uttar Pradesh in the backdrop of the worsening Covid-19 situation.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Uttar Pradesh government, said the state government has accepted several directions of the High Court, but imposing lockdown in five cities would not be appropriate. Mehta added that the state government has issued several directions to contain the spread of Covid-19 and it has been taking adequate precautions.

The top court also appointed senior advocate P.S. Narasimha as amicus curiae while directing the state government to submit a report on steps it has taken and that it proposes to take to contain the pandemic. The next hearing in the matter will be held after two weeks. 

The Allahabad High Court on Monday had ordered to put five cities in Uttar Pradesh -- Prayagraj, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur Nagar and Gorakhpur -- under curbs till April 26 to arrest the spread of the Covid-19. The High Court directed the Uttar Pradesh government to close all establishments private or government-run in these cities. However, the court exempted those offering essential services and clarified that it is not imposing a lockdown in all of Uttar Pradesh. 

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan