Lucknow | Jagran News Desk: The Allahabad High Court on Monday directed the Yogi Adityanath-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government to impose lockdown for a week in five cities of Uttar Pradesh -- Prayagraj, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur Nagar and Gorakhpur -- till April 26 amid the surging coronavirus cases in the state.

The Yogi Adityanath-led state government, however, refuses to impose lockdown in the five cities and instead said that it will impose stricter curbs. "UP Government will not impose a complete lockdown in the cities but impose strict restrictions. The UP Government is submitting its reply before the Court on its observations," said ACS - Information Navneet Sehgal. 

Pulling up the UP government for its "lack of response", the two-judge bench, which included Justices Ajit Kumar and Siddhartha Varma, said that the court cannot remain "mere passive spectators" while coronavirus cases are rising across the state, adding that it is its "constitutional duty" to save the lives of people.

"We find from the scenario that emerges from the Government Hospitals that admission of patients to ICUs are largely being done on the recommendation of VIPs. Even supply of life saving anti viral drug namely Remdesivire is being provided only on the recommendation of VIPs..Even the Chief Minister of the state is in isolation in Lucknow," the court said, as reported by Bar and Bench.

Following are the orders the Allahabad High Court directed the UP government to impose in five cities of the state:

* All private and government offices will stay closed till April 26. However, essential services, financial institutions, medical and health services, industrial and scientific establishments and public transport will continue.

* Shopping malls and complexes will also stay shut till April 26.

* All grocery shops and other commercial shops excluding medical shops, with more than three workers will remain closed across the state.

* Hawkers selling fruits, vegetables, milk and bread will be expected to go off the road by 11 am every day.

* All religious establishments will stay shut.

* Schools, colleges and all other educational institutions will remain close. The institutions won't be able to call their teachers, instructors and other staff till April 26.

* Hotels, restaurants, eateries and dhabas won't be allowed to stay open.

* There would be no social, political or religious gatherings, including weddings and marriages, in the five cities till April 26. However, in the case of "fixed marriages", permissions would need to be taken from District Magistrate, whose decision will be based on the "prevailing COVID-19 situation" in the area.

* The authorities will notify containment zones in two leading Hindi and English newspapers that have wide circulation in Prayagraj, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur Nagar and Gorakhpur.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta