Those who do not cooperate in the efforts to control coronavirus outbreak will now land themselves in trouble as the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has warned of strict action including jail for such individuals, including those spread misinformation or rumours to create panic in the society. UP health minister Jai Pratap Singh said that the concerned authorities have been given power under section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act to take all necessary actions in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
"We will take action against any suspect if he/she refuses to get tested or runs away from authorities. Action will also be taken against any person who tries to hide such patients, misleads or obstructs the health team from conducting its duty. If required, offenders will also be sent to jail as per the law," he said.
He said that the situation in the state was completely under control and there was no need for anyone to panic.
"People should take precautionary measures advised by the government. We will review the situation on March 20 when further decisions will be taken. We have given special training to 800 doctors and more than 1,200 beds have been reserved across the state in district hospitals and medical colleges," the minister added.
The health minister also said that the state government has launched an awareness program, including in rural areas to inform people about the precautions that must be taken.
Schools, colleges, cinemas, multiplexes, gyms, swimming pools, clubs and institutes where examinations are not underway have already been shut down.
The government has also cancelled large gatherings.
Lucknow shuts down weekly markets, zoo amid COVID-19 outbreak
All weekly markets in Lucknow have been suspended till March 31 while the Lucknow zoo has also been shut down due to the COVID-19scare. This comes a day after the state government ordered the closure of multiplexes, cinemas, clubs and gymnasiums in the city in view of coronavirus threat. This will be for the first time since its inception in 1921 that the Lucknow zoo has been closed for such a long period.
Director, Lucknow zoo, RK Singh said: "The zoo will remain closed till March 23 as part of safety measures adopted to contain the spread of Coronavirus."
The zoo used to get around 4000 visitors every day but the footfall has dropped in the past ten days when the first coronavirus patient tested positive in the state capital.
The Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC), on the directives of the district magistrate, has suspended all weekly markets till March 31.
Municipal commissioner Indramani Tripathi has asked zonal officers to ensure that the markets are not held in their respective zones.
Weekly markets are held in Nakhas (Sunday), Jankipuram (Tuesday), Mahanagar (Wednesday), Aminabad (Thursday), Sadar (Saturday) and Hussainganj (Saturday).
These markets attract huge crowds, mainly because of the large variety of goods that are reasonably priced.
District magistrate Abhishek Prakash has directed officials to visit shopping malls and markets and ask shopkeepers to set up facilities for handwash and sanitization for visitors and employees.
He told reporters, "Monitoring and command control room will be set up at the office of the Chief Medical Officer. Two teams comprising one official each of district administration, health department and police will be deployed on 12-hour shifts at the centre which will work round the clock."
LMC officials also said the civic body has installed hand sanitizer machines in busy markets including Aminabad, Patrakarpuram, Bhootnath, Kapoorthala, Alambagh and Chinhat.