Lucknow | Jagran News Desk: The Yogi Adityanath-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday extended the weekend lockdown in the state amid the unprecedented spike in coronavirus cases across the country. In its new order, the state government said that the weekend lockdown will begin Friday evening and continue till 7 am on Tuesdays.

During the restrictions, all markets, shopping malls, religious places, restaurants, private and government offices will stay shut in Uttar Pradesh while only essential services will be allowed. The UP government guidelines have also urged people across the state to follow appropriate COVID behaviour and have advised them to remain indoors.

Uttar Pradesh has become one of the coronavirus hotspots in India. The state had on Wednesday reported over 260 fatalities, the highest single-day rise in its COVID-19 death toll. Meanwhile, nearly 30,000 cases were reported in the same time span that pushed the state's total caseload to 11.82 lakh.

Looking at the alarming situation in the state, the Allahabad High Court earlier this month had directed the UP government to imposed a lockdown in five cities -- Lucknow, Prayagraj, Kanpur, Varanasi, and Gorakhpur -- for two weeks.

"If we have not imposed a lockdown it does not mean that we do not believe in it. We are still of the view that if we want to break the chain a lockdown for a duration of at least two weeks is a must," the Allahabad High Court had said while slamming the UP government for "not planning" for the second wave of COVID-19.

However, the UP government had denied imposing a lockdown and had moved the Supreme Court which later had put Allahabad High Court's order on hold.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma