Andhra Pradesh imposes curfew for 14 days starting May 5

Published : May 06, 2021 11:50 IST

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy at the State Cabinet meeting on May 4. Photo: The Hindu Archives

Andhra Pradesh joined several other States across the country in announcing a 14-day curfew starting May 5. The curfew will be from 12 noon to 6 a.m. All shops, business establishments, offices, restaurants, and educational institutions will remain closed during the hours of curfew.

The decision to impose a curfew after holding out against it for weeks comes in the wake of Andhra Pradesh witnessing an explosion of COVID-19 cases. The State saw 22,204 new cases in the 24-hour period ending at 9 a.m. on May 5. The number of active COVID-19 cases in the State stands at 1,70,588. It has seen 8,374 fatalities since the pandemic started in April 2020.

Announcing the decision after a Cabinet meeting that was chaired by Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, Information & Public Relations Minister Perni Venkatramaiah said that the Cabinet had discussed the pandemic situation, supply of oxygen, medicines, and the vaccination drive in the State.

Section 144 will be imposed across the State, but hospitals, diagnostic labs, pharmacies and those dealing with essential services have been exempted from the curfew. Medical personnel, including doctors, nursing staff, paramedics and providers of other hospital services have been exempted from the curfew.

The government has directed local administrations to make adequate arrangements at airports and railway stations to enable travel and last-mile connectivity for commuters. While interstate and intrastate movement of essential and non-essential goods is permitted, public transport, including buses and auto-rickshaws, will be permitted to operate only during the non-curfew hours. The procurement of agricultural produce will be allowed along with all agricultural activities.

Venkatramaiah announced that weddings that have already been scheduled and which cannot be rescheduled will be allowed with a maximum of 20 people. However, conducting a wedding will require permission from local authorities.

Print and electronic media, telecommunications, Internet services, broadcasting services, IT and IT-enabled services, petrol pumps, LPG, CNG, petroleum and gas outlets, power generation, transmission and distribution, water supply and sanitation, cold storage facilities and warehousing services, private security services and all manufacturing industries shall operate after duly following COVID-19 safety protocols.

Movement of people has been prohibited except for officials of the Central and State governments including those of the High Court and other courts, Urban Local Bodies and Panchayat Raj Institutions staff on emergency work.

Chief Minister seeks allocation of more COVID-19 vaccines for the State

Venkatramaiah also disclosed that Jagan Mohan Reddy had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking allocation of more COVID-19 vaccine doses for the State.

The Andhra Pradesh government, which had approached the two private vaccine manufacturers, Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech, seeking vaccines for the State “as early as possible”, is, in all likeliness, scheduled to receive in the next 15 days nine lakh Covishield and three lakh Covaxin vaccine doses. Though this order was placed to be administered for those in the 18 to 45 years age category, the State will use this for vaccinating those above 45 years of age.

On the issue of oxygen supplies, the Cabinet has also decided to enter into discussions with neighbouring governments, including Karnataka, Odisha and Tamil Nadu for possible import.

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