Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow is seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases with many parts of the sprawling city declared "large containment zones" for a week, starting this morning. The situation in neighbouring Kanpur, around 80 km north of Lucknow, is also very worrying as it has the state's highest death count for a single district.
At 2,509 patients, Lucknow currently has the highest active COVID-19 caseload for any district in the state. A month ago, this number was 329 and till July 5, only 550 cases had surfaced; the remaining 1,600-odd cases have been reported since.
In an order issued on Sunday morning, Lucknow District Magistrate Abhishek Prakash said areas under the jurisdiction of four police stations - Indira Nagar, Gazipur, Sarojini Nagar and Ashiyana - will be treated as "large containment zones" for one week, starting Monday, and only essential services would be allowed to operate. People in these areas would only be allowed to come on arterial roads for "very important work".
The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court, though located in a different part of the city, also announced two-day closure, starting today.
Covid-related fatalities in Kanpur have increased to 120 deaths out of a total of 2,437 cases, taking the mortality rate to 4.92 per cent - almost double of the state's death rate of 2.32 per cent. Kanpur has also overtaken the west UP hotspots of Agra and Meerut, both of which have seen 90-plus deaths.
In the data released on July 16, the UP government claimed it has exponentially ramped up COVID-19 testing over the last month.
The government has said that a total of 12,77,241 samples have been tested till date. In the first four months, till June 24, only six lakh tests were done. The next 6 lakh-plus tests were done in just 20 days, the government has said, adding that only the states of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra had tested more people for coronavirus.