Those caught without a mask in Uttar Pradesh can face a fine of up to Rs 10,000, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered today as part of new tougher rules to fight Covid in the state. The state has also announced a Sunday lockdown.
People caught without a mask will be fined Rs 1,000 the first time and Rs 10,000 the next.
Yogi Adityanath has also ordered a weekly lockdown in India's most populous state when only essential services and activities will be allowed. This will be a weekly feature, according to officials.
Yesterday, the state announced that schools will be shut till May 15 and also postponed state board exams after reporting the highest-single day spike in coronavirus cases since the outbreak of the pandemic last year.
Uttar Pradesh reported 104 deaths and 22,439 fresh cases on Thursday, a record spike for the second day in a row after 20,510 cases on Wednesday.
A 7 pm to 8 am night curfew has been enforced in 10 districts.
"Corona curfew to be effective from 8 pm to 7 am in all 10 districts with more than 2,000 active cases including Lucknow, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Kanpur Nagar, Gautam Budh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Gorakhpur," tweeted Yogi Adityanath on Thursday.
Cities like Lucknow, Varanasi and Prayagraj are among the worst affected in the state.
Yesterday, Varanasi appealed to visitors to put off any trip to the city and made it a must for those visiting its prominent temples to produce a negative RT-PCR test report not more than three days old.
Various states, struggling with limited hospital beds, oxygen, medicines and vaccine doses against rocketing cases, have been coming up with strict restrictions to slow the spread of Covid in its deadly second wave in India.
This morning, the country reported 2,17,353 new coronavirus cases, a new record high.