With the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the state, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has extended the closure of all schools up to Class 8 to April 4. Earlier, the Yogi Adityanath government had ordered the closure of schools for students up to Class 8 till March 31. The new instructions were given after a late-night meeting on Tuesday, chaired by the chief minister. The chief minister has also ordered officials to increase the number of Covid-19 testing in the state.
Uttar Pradesh, till Tuesday night, recorded 918 new cases and 10 deaths due to the deadly virus.
Lucknow topped the list with 446 new cases in a day.
In another important move, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed all departments to provide a day's leave to the employees going for vaccination.
He has asked officials to make similar arrangements in the private sector.
"The government employees going in for Covid-19 vaccination must be given a day's off on their due date. Likewise, similar arrangements must be made for private sector employees too," the chief minister said in a statement.
Expressing concern over the decline in the number of COVID-19 tests conducted during the Holi break and the simultaneous surge in the number of cases, Yogi Adityanath directed officials to ensure that the COVID-19 containment plan is implemented in the true sense.
About 67,000 COVID-19 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours which is way less than the state's daily average of about 1.25 lakh tests.
The chief minister told officials that the number of tests must be increased immediately and the average of 1.5 lakh tests per day must be achieved and maintained.
Stating that all suspected cases must be tested through the RT-PCR method, he said that at least 50 per cent of all tests conducted should be done through this gold standard method.
He told officials to intensify focused testing exercise and ensure that no vulnerable pockets, including old age homes, protection homes, residential schools and hostels are left out.
He also directed officials to undertake awareness activities and motivate people to adhere to the safety protocol.
Uttar Pradesh has a massive vaccination target to cover. More than 54 lakh doses have been given while at least 12 lakh persons have been fully vaccinated.
With the Centre having allowed vaccination of all persons above 45 years, the state is eying to vaccinate one crore persons in April.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh reported 10 more Covid-19 deaths on Tuesday, pushing the death toll to 8,800, while 918 new cases took the infection tally in the state to 6,15,996.
Four deaths were reported from Lucknow, two from Kanpur, and one each from Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Unnao and Aurraiya, a health bulletin issued here said.
(With IANS inputs)