UP Minister warns of lockdown amid Covid surge

4/13/2021
A day after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that he would not impose a lockdown, state Minister Brajesh Pathak on Tuesday categorically stated that a lockdown could be imposed in Lucknow if Covid cases continued to surge.

In a letter to the Additional Chief Secretary Health and Principal Secretary Health, Pathak, who holds the law portfolio, said that he is getting calls for help due to lack of resources at hospitals but he is "unable to help out".

He alleged that no one picks up the phone at the chief medical officer's office and went on to underline that beds should be increased in hospitals to attend patients.

He added that hospitals should ramp up testing as well.

The letter, marked "confidential", is going viral on the social media.

The Minister stated in his letter that strict measures are needed to bring the situation under control and that a lockdown cannot be ruled out if it shows no improvement.

"It is unfortunate that private hospitals have reduced testing. There is a need of 17,000 testing kits, whereas only 10,000 are available," Pathak said in the letter.

He also mentioned the case of historian Yogesh Praveen who died because the ambulance did not reach him on time.

Uttar Pradesh is witnessing a fresh and a very severe wave of the pandemic.

The state has recorded as many as 18,021 new cases in the past 24 hours.

Lucknow alone reported 5,382 new Covid cases in the same period.

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