UP registers 5,928 fresh COVID cases; HC asks Yogi government to consider night curfew

By PTI
LUCKNOW: The COVID-19 death toll in Uttar Pradesh rose to 8,924 on Tuesday with 30 more people succumbing to the disease while 5,928 fresh cases in a day pushed the infection tally to 6,39,928.

In view of the recent surge in daily coronavirus cases in the state capital, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has stopped physical hearing of cases and decided to conduct hearing of only urgent matters through videoconferencing.

As of now, the decision is for this whole week.

Of the 30 COVID-19 deaths reported in a day in Uttar Pradesh, seven were reported from Lucknow, four from Kanpur, three from Allahabad, two each from Varanasi, Muzaffarnagar and Sitapur, and one each from Gautam Buddh Nagar, Moradabad, Hardoi, Pratapgarh, Basti, Sultanpur, Unnao, Bijnor, Jalaun and Kanpur Dehat.

Of the 5,928 fresh COVID-19 cases, Lucknow reported 1,188, Allahabad 915, Varanasi 711 and Kanpur 306.

So far, 6,03,495 COVID-19 patients in the state have recovered from the disease, the Uttar Pradesh government said in a statement here on Tuesday.

Six students of Muzaffarnagar Medical College, who were staying at the institute’s hostel, were among the 85 COVID-19 cases reported from the district.

The number of active coronavirus cases in the district stood at 389.

Thirty-nine doctors of King George’s Medical University (KGMU), including the vice-chancellor, have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last three days, a senior doctor said.

“KGMU vice-chancellor Lieutenant General (retired) Dr Bipin Puri tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, while medical superintendent Prof D Himanshu tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.

In the last three days, 39 doctors of KGMU have tested positive for COVID-19,” he said.

“Both the vice-chancellor and medical superintendent have got both the doses of anti-COVID vaccine,” he added.

BJP MP from Jhansi-Lalitpur parliamentary constituency Anurag Sharma has also tested positive for COVID-19, his private secretary Atul Agarwal said.

Currently, Sharma’s condition is normal and he has quarantined himself, Agarwal said.

The count of active COVID-19 cases in Uttar Pradesh stands at 27,509.

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad HC has stopped physical hearing of cases.

The senior registrar of the court issued an administrative order in this respect on Tuesday.

The court had deferred regular hearing since April 5 and only urgent matters were being taken up with strict guidelines on entry of lawyers in courtrooms.

But considering the COVID-19 situation, the court administration has passed a new order restricting itself to only videoconferencing.

In the order, the senior registrar said a link would be sent on registered mobile numbers to those lawyers whose urgent cases would be listed on a particular day.

Meanwhile, the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday asked the state government to examine the viability of imposing a night curfew to check late evening social gatherings.

A two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Siddhartha Varma passed the direction while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) on COVID-19 cases in Uttar Pradesh.

“Though the state government has taken necessary steps to meet the threat of the second wave of COVID-19, it is noticed that the directions given by the state have not been complied with by the public at large and that is an issue of concern,” the bench observed.

“We deem it appropriate to direct the district magistrates of all districts in the state of Uttar Pradesh to ensure strict and definite compliance of the directions issued by the government of Uttar Pradesh from time to time to meet the threat of COVID-19,” it said.

The court asked district administrations, including police authorities to ensure that everyone wears a mask.

The director general of police should chalk out a plan at his level for this purpose.

“District administration including police authorities should see that no crowding takes place at any place all over the state of UP. If it finds that any particular place is likely to get crowded, then it should cordon off that area and see that people do not huddle,” it said.

On the upcoming panchayat polls, the bench said they should be conducted in such a manner that no congregation of people takes place.

Be it nomination, canvassing or voting, it should be seen that all COVID-19 protocols are observed.

“In addition to the above directions, we deem it appropriate to ask the state government to check the viability of vaccination for one and all and not just for citizens above the age of 45.

The government should check the viability of inoculating such students who are to appear in the Uttar Pradesh high school and intermediate examinations.

In fact, a door-to-door vaccination programme should be chalked out,” it said.

“The state government may also examine the viability of providing masks and sanitisers to one by utilising the amount recovered on account of violation of COVID-19 protocols.

The general public should also realise its responsibility towards the COVID-19 protocol,” it added.

The court has fixed April 8 for the next hearing of the PIL through videoconferencing.

The lawyers would be at liberty to join the video conference from their chamber.

In case, any lawyer has difficulty in joining from his chamber, he can use the video conference cabins prepared at the mediation centre in court premises.

The court also has stopped physical hearing of matters due to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the state capital.

It has decided to conduct hearing of only urgent cases through video conferencing and as of now, the decision is for this week.

The senior registrar of the court issued an administrative order to this effect on Tuesday.

The court deferred regular hearings on Monday and only urgent matters were being taken up with strict guidelines on the entry of lawyers in court rooms.

But considering the COVID-19 situation, the court administration passed a new order, restricting itself to only video conferencing.

In the order, the senior registrar said that a link would be sent on registered mobile numbers to those lawyers whose urgent cases would be listed on a particular day.

The lawyers would be at liberty to join the video conference from their chambers.

In case, any lawyer has difficulty joining the viceo conference from his chamber, she can use the VC cabins prepared at the mediation centre in the court premises, according to the order.