Omicron: Uttar Pradesh imposes night curfew from tomorrow
The Uttar Pradesh government has announced a night curfew starting Saturday (December 25), i.e. Christmas, amid growing concerns over the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus. The curfew will be in force from 11:00pm to 5:00am. The state government earlier said no more than 200 people will be allowed to attend weddings and other social functions while all COVID-19 protocols must be followed.
- The Friday order makes UP the second state to impose night-time restrictions amid the Omicron scare.
- On Thursday, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced a similar curb.
- It also indicates that more restrictions may become the norm as Omicron spreads across the country. It is the most heavily mutated version of the coronavirus so far and is said to be highly infectious.
The UP order comes a day after the Allahabad High Court raised concern over election rallies in the state. It urged the Election Commission of India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ban poll-related gatherings. It also said that the postponement of the Assembly elections should be considered. To note, polls in UP are set to be held early next year.
UP on Thursday reported 31 new COVID-19 cases. The state has also detected two Omicron infections so far. Both the patients have been treated and discharged. Meanwhile, the nationwide Omicron tally has reached 358 as of Friday morning. India has been recording less than 10,000 daily new coronavirus cases but experts have warned against laxity and the rising reproduction rate of the virus.
Several states introduced curbs in view of the Omicron spread. In Delhi, no Christmas and New Year gatherings will take place. Besides, bars and restaurants can operate with only up to 50% of their seating capacity. Similarly, prohibitory orders have been issued in Mumbai effectively banning all large gatherings. Those traveling to Maharashtra must either be fully vaccinated or carry an RT-PCR test report.