Noida | Jagran News Desk: With an aim to check the spread of the COVID-19 infection in the state ahead of the upcoming festive season, the Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday imposed Section 144 in Gautam Budh Nagar district till August 30, reported news agency IANS.

Speaking about the decision, officials said that major festivals like Shivratri, Bakri-Eid, Shravan, Independence Day, Muharram, Raksha Bandhan and Janamashtami will be celebrated in July and August but they can turn into a COVID-19 hotspot if appropriate norms are not followed.

"On these major occasions, Section 144 has been imposed in Gautam Budh Nagar district to prevent people from contracting Covid-19, curbing the spread of the infection and the possibility of disturbing peace and order in the state by anti-social elements," IANS quoted Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), Shraddha Pandey as saying.

With Uttar Pradesh's decision to impose Section 144 in Noida, more than 50 people won't be allowed to gather anywhere in the district. All sports, political and social activities will also remain prohibited unless prior permission is taken from the local administration.

Swimming pools would also stay closed in Noida till August 30. The guidelines also suggest that dine-in services at restuarents, eateries and street or fast food shops won't be allowed.

However, metro, bus and cab services will be allowed to operate in Noida ut only with 50 per cent occupancy. In auto-rickshaws and e-rickshaws, only three people -- a driver and two passengers -- would be allowed.

Noida had emerged as one of the coronavirus hotspots in Uttar Pradesh during the first and second COVID-19 waves in India. Though, cases are decresing at steady rate in the city, Noida district magistrate (DM) Suhas LY has said that the administration is preparing for a third wave with an aim to reduce the mortality rate.

"For that, we are ensuring maximum contact tracing and testing nearly 4,000 people every day. While the recovery rate in GB Nagar is still over 99 per cent, the case fatality rate (CFR) is only 0.73 per cent, which is much better than the state’s overall CFR of 1.32 per cent," Suhar LY was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma