The Uttar Pradesh government on Monday made masks compulsary in public places in the capital Lucknow and six districts of the National Capital Region adjoining Delhi.
Daily coronavirus cases and the positivity rate in Delhi have been on an upward trend lately. The increase in cases in states surrounding UP's National Capital Region has also had an impact in UP's districts, according to an official spokesperson cited by PTI. As a result, the government has issued the mask mandate for the districts of Lucknow, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Hapur, Meerut, Bulandshahr, and Baghpat.
The UP government had earlier this month relaxed mask requirements in public places in light of improved COVID-19 situation. Delhi too withdrew the mask mandate in public spaces earlier this month.
Recently, Delhi and India at large have reported a surge in infections. While Delhi reported over 500 cases on Sunday - compared to around 200 a week ago - and a positivity rate of 5.33 per cent, India reported a surge of 90 per cent as it reported 2,183 coronavirus cases on Monday morning.
Experts have said it is possible that the number of infections may rise in the coming days but the chances of patients needing hospitalisation or becoming very serious are slim. However, people should follow COVID-appropriate behaviour, the official said.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, while issuing these directives, also asked officials to look for people yet to be fully vaccinated in these districts and prioritise their vaccination.
The UP official pointed out that the progress of the COVID-19 vaccination in the state is “satisfactory” but there is a need to accelerate the vaccination of children.
More than 86.34 per cent of the state’s adult population has received both doses while over 94 per cent of adolescents in the 15-17 age group have received their first dose, according to the official.
With PTI inputs