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UP govt makes wearing of mask compulsory in 6 NCR dists, Lucknow

UP govt makes wearing of mask compulsory in 6 NCR dists, Lucknow
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Noida/ Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government on Monday made it compulsory for people to wear a face mask in public places in capital Lucknow and six NCR districts amid a rise in Covid cases in some adjoining states, an official said.

The increase in Covid cases has had an impact on the districts falling under the National Capital Region (NCR). Keeping this in mind, the government has made use of masks mandatory in public places in Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Hapur, Meerut, Bulandshahr, Baghpat as well as capital Lucknow, an official spokesperson said here.

Shortly after this, the administration in Haryana also issued directives making masks mandatory in all districts bordering Delhi, including Gurugram, Faridabad, Jhajjar and Sonepat.

Haryana health minister Anil Vij said in view of the rise in Covid cases over the past a few days in Gurugram, the wearing of a mask has been made compulsory there and in three other districts of Faridabad, Sonipat and Jhajjar. All four districts are near New Delhi and fall in the NCR.

Delhi recorded 501 fresh Covid cases in the last 24 hours. The daily positivity rate, an indicator of the spread of the infection in the population, increased from 4.42 per cent on Sunday to 7.72 per cent on Monday. GB Nagar reported 65 new cases on Monday, out of which 19 are minors who have tested positive in the district. In neighbouring Ghaziabad, 20 fresh infections have been reported, including three minors.

"Since children are majorly showing symptoms of Covid, our prime focus is to combat the spread of the disease on school campuses. We have issued a slew of guidelines to keep a check on students for symptoms and establish help desks in schools. The district Covid helpline number – 18004192211 has been put on display in schools to seek immediate Covid-related assistance," informed Suhas LY, District Magistrate, GB Nagar.

"We are also creating awareness among parents and have asked them not to send their wards to attend in-person classes if they show symptoms of cold and fever. Apart from this, we have also instructed all government departments, private institutions and offices to ensure that Covid-appropriate behaviour is strictly followed. Wearing masks in public places and maintaining social distancing is now mandatory and violators will be penalised," the DM added.

Meanwhile, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Noida has maintained that the infection is mild and most of the affected patients are asymptomatic. "The infection has not infected the lungs so far in children which is a big relief. Children are showing mild symptoms such as cold, fever, cough and several of them are asymptomatic. Parents must ensure to follow proper medication under the supervision of doctors in home isolation and keep children hydrated as routine care during summers," a senior health official said.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who issued the directive on Monday, has asked officials to identify people in the affected districts who have not been fully vaccinated yet and administer the jab to them on priority while getting those with Covid symptoms tested, he said.

In the last 24 hours, 20 cases have been reported in Ghaziabad and 10 in Lucknow, the official said, adding that the Chief Minister has ordered close monitoring of the situation.

In view of the improving Covid situation, the Uttar Pradesh government had given relaxation in wearing face masks earlier this month.

In the genome sequencing of samples of Covid positive patients in NCR, only the Omicron variant of Covid has been confirmed, the official said.

According to experts, it is possible that the number of Covid cases 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.

At present, the total number of active Covid cases in the state is 695. In the last 24 hours, over 83,000 tests were done of which 115 new Corona cases were confirmed, he said.

During the same period, 29 people were treated and discharged from hospitals, he added.

The official pointed out that the progress of the Covid vaccination campaign 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 of anti-Covid vaccine while over 94 per cent of adolescents in the 15 to 17 age group have received their first dose, he said.

The Chief Minister also said people should be made aware of the importance of booster doses, the official said.

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