Uttar Pradesh will lock down for two days as part of containment measures following a record one-day spike in new coronavirus cases, nationwide. Up to 230 million people face stay-at-home orders.
Authorities in India's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, has ordered a weekend lockdown starting Friday night and ending early Monday morning, the state government announced.
All non-essential stores across the northern state have been told to close during the temporary curfew. Pharmacies and grocery stores will be allowed to remain open.
According to Indian media, air and rail services will continue, but bus services, other than transport to and from railway stations, will be prohibited.
There will, however, be no restrictions of movement for people working in essential services, like health care, sanitation and home delivery.
Spike in cases prompts more lockdowns
The announcement comes as India reported a record 26,506 new COVID-19 cases on Friday. Total cases in Uttar Pradesh, with a population of around 230 million people, passed 32,000.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government had eased nationwide lockdowns in early June in an attempt to restart India's pandemic-battered economy.
However, rapidly increasing coronavirus cases in recent weeks have pushed India's total caseload to over 793,000 — the third highest in the world after Brazil and the United States. There have been over 21,600 fatalities recorded.
Other areas in India are also reintroducing containment measures.
As well as Uttar Pradesh, the eastern state of Bihar will impose a week-long lockdown on the state capital, Patna, and four other districts starting Friday.
The industrial city Aurangabad, in the state of Maharashtra, will impose a nine-day curfew following a spike in COVID-19 infections among workers at the Bajaj Auto factory, India's top motorbike exporter.
wmr/mm (AP, Reuters)