Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday (April 20) decided that everyone above the age of 18 will be eligible to be administered the COVID-19 vaccine free of cost from May 1. The decision to this effect was taken by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in a Cabinet meeting.
The UP cabinet also decided to impose a weekend curfew from Friday evening to Monday morning in the entire state till further orders amid the rising cases of coronavirus infections.
In a Cabinet meeting chaired by the Chief Minister, the state government, decided to keep all non-essential activities suspended in all districts of the state having 500 or more active cases, besides ordering a nearly 60-hour-long weekend curfew.
While the night curfew in the districts with 500-plus cases will be effective from 8 pm to 7 am next day starting Tuesday, the weekend curfew will be enforced from Friday 8 pm to Monday 7 am, during which all non-essential activities will be restricted.
Earlier, a top UP government official told PTI that the night curfew will be imposed "throughout" the state. The night curfew was imposed earlier in Kanpur, Gorakhpur, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Allahabad, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Bareilly, and Muzaffarnagar districts and the Lucknow Municipal Corporation area of the state.
On Monday, a state government bulletin issued on Covid-19 situation in the state had said the districts registering less than 500 cases include Maharajganj (497), Hamirpur (489), Mahoba (387), Sharvasti (354), Baghpat (306), Pilibhit (279), Kasganj (112) and Hathras (89).
The move by the UP government came hours after the Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed an Allahabad High Court order asking the state government to impose strict restrictions till April 26 in five cities amid the surge in Covid-19 cases.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde passed the order after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Uttar Pradesh, told it that the state government has taken several steps to contain the spread of coronavirus but to lockdown five cities by a judicial order may not be the right approach.
The high court had asked the UP government to impose strict restrictions including the closing of malls, shopping complexes, and restaurants till April 26 in five cities -- Allahabad, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur, Nagar, and Gorakhpur -- but stopped short of calling it a "complete lockdown".
On the issue of migrants coming back to the state from Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Delhi, Chief Minister Adityanath said the bordering districts of UP must exercise special caution, and provisions should be made for smooth movement of the migrant workers.
The Chief Minister also asked the Home Department and the Transport Department to coordinate and act to provide adequate facilities for the testing and treatment of the migrant labourers.