The Supreme Court on Tuesday (April 20) put a stay on Allahabad High Court’s (HC) order to impose lockdown in five cities of Uttar Pradesh in view of the surging COVID cases.
The Uttar Pradesh government had approached the Supreme Court against the Allahabad High Court’s Monday order imposing COVID-19 curbs in Prayagraj, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur Nagar and Gorakhpur till April 26.
On Monday (April 19), the Allahabad High Court had told the UP government to shut down all private or government-run establishments, in Prayagraj, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur Nagar and Gorakhpur in view of the rising COVID-19 cases. The state invited the High Court’s ire for “not planning” for a second wave of COVID pandemic. The court was also critical of the UP state election commission’s decision to conduct panchayat elections.
The High Court, according to news agency PTI, had said: “If we have not imposed a lockdown it does not mean that we do not believe in it. We are still of the view that if we want to break the chain a lockdown for a duration of at least two weeks is a must.”
The Uttar Pradesh government was not impressed by the HC’s intervention. UP additional chief secretary Navneet Sehgal said the government very well understands the need for strict curbs to check the spread of coronavirus and it has taken several steps to do so. Sehgal, however, said that protecting people’s health cannot be at the cost of protecting livelihoods, adding that a complete lockdown was not required for the time being since “people are voluntarily shutting places”.
Uttar Pradesh’s total COVID case tally, as on Monday morning, stands at 8,79,831. Of these, 208,523 are active cases while the death number has breached the 10,000 mark.