Owing to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus across the globe, the government of India decided to put the complete nation under complete lockdown starting March 25. While the lockdown was supposed to last for 21 days and to be lifted on April 14, with the rapid spike in the number of positive cases, it is likely to continue.
Today, the Uttar Pradesh government announced that parts of 15 districts--places which have seen multiple cases of coronavirus--will be sealed till April 15. So what exactly does this mean for residents of those districts? We'll break it down for you.
The UP government has identified coronavirus hotspots in 15 districts across the state. These 'hotspots' fall in the districts of Lucknow, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Noida, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Agra, Shamli and Saharanpur. The remaining districts will be identified and announced by today evening.
This means that identified areas falling under the district will be completely sealed, and the residents will not be allowed to step out of their homes, not even for essential services. However, the government has said that it will ensure 100% home delivery of essentials. The sealing is said to begin after midnight today.
What Are Hotspots?
According to NDTV, hotspots are places that have seen multiple cases of COVID-19. The union health ministry has also identified two other kinds of hotspots. "Emerging Hotspots" are areas that saw a spurt in cases over a two-week period, and "Potential Hotspots", which have a high population density.
At present, Uttar Pradesh is dealing with 326 positive cases of coronavirus. Three patients have died and 21 have recovered.
Meanwhile, speculations are on about whether the 21-day nation-wide lockdown, which was to be lifted on April 14, will be extended. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he would consult state chief ministers before taking a final call, "but from all accounts, the lifting of the lockdown is not possible," sources told NDTV. A decision is likely to be taken after the Prime Minister's video conference with state Chief Ministers on April 11.
While there's a lot of uncertainty and speculation about what's to come, we urge you to remain calm and stay indoors. If you can, stock up on your supply of essential goods but don't hoard or buy in bulk. Remember that as trying as the times are, they are temporary. We'll make it out of this crisis stronger than ever.