UP extends Epidemic Act till June as Covid cases rise

Lucknow, April 1 (IANS) With Covid cases continuously on the rise in Uttar Pradesh, the Yogi Adityanath government has extended the pandemic and enforced provisions of the Epidemic Act across the state till June 30.

Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) health, Amit Mohan Prasad said the decision was taken after reviewing the alarming situation in the state. He admitted that cases were going up daily and the coronavirus has hit the state again in pandemic form.

The ACS Health said that the Epidemic Act, which was enforced earlier till March 31, has been extended till June-end or till the situation arising out of the second wave is brought under control.

“In the public interest, the state government may cancel holidays of doctors, health workers and other government and private employees engaged in the duties to deal with the situation,” said Prasad.

The ACS Health has also directed all health and frontline workers to take the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine on priority to develop antibodies for carrying their duties safely.

The graph of infected patients increased further in the last 24 hours after 11 deaths and 1,230 more positive cases were reported from different parts of the state.

What has caused concern to the state government is that the second surge of coronavirus has brought down the recovery rate from 98.25 per cent to 96 per cent.

The state is heading back to the March and April 2020 pandemic situation. In March last year, the number of active cases were 2078 but by April 31, 2020, it had gone up to 9,848 positive cases. On March 1 this year, only 87 active cases were reported. Now the number stands at over 1,230, which is twelve times higher.

To fight against the second round of coronavirus pandemic, the state government has ordered to reopen all Covid Management Hospitals across the state with full capacity.

The KGMU has decided to slap a fine of Rs 200 on anyone roaming in the hospital campus without wearing a mask.

Lucknow is emerging as a Covid hotspot and the state capital recorded 361 cases in the past 24 hours-the highest in the state.

Micro containment zones have been created in seven major localities in Lucknow to check the second surge of coronavirus.

The state government has, once again, notified 45 hospitals from 30 districts as dedicated Covid facilities, said health officials.

Last month, the government had denotified nearly 240 hospitals after a dip in the number of Covid cases.

According to health officials, the state now has nearly 25,000 reserved Covid beds.

Prasad said, “We have added 45 hospitals across the state in the list of dedicated Covid facilities. These are among the hospitals that were earlier denotified. All these hospitals are of L2 and L3 category, as we now have 128 Covid facilities and close to 25,000 reserved beds. If we have even 25 per cent hospitalisation, we are prepared for around 1 lakh active cases. If needed, the number of dedicated facilities will be further increased like last year. The hospitals will be ready to admit Covid patients even on a very short notice.”

State Surveillance Officer Vikasendu Agarwal said that with the increasing number of cases, they are going back to the basic strategy of aggressive contact tracing, surveillance, isolation and treatment.

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