Amaravati: The Andhra Pradesh government led by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday decided to impose a night curfew in the wake of a huge surge in COVID-19 cases in the state.
According to an official notification, the night curfew will remain in force between 11 PM and 5 AM daily from January 18 till January 31 in the state.
State’s Principal Secretary (Medical and Health) Anil Kumar Singhal issued the modified order, revising the night curfew date to January 18. The state government also instructed all the district collectors and Superintendents of Police to enforce strict implementation of the COVID-19 restrictions.
Any violation of these instructions will result in prosecution under Sections 51 to 60 of Disaster Management Act, 2005 and Sections 188 of IPC as well as other applicable Laws, stated the state government order.
On Monday, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had directed the authorities to clamp Covid curfew in view of the spurt in fresh cases over the past one week.
Accordingly, Anil Kumar Singhal issued an order saying the curfew would be in force till January 31. Later, a modified order was issued stating the curfew restrictions would begin only from January 18.
What will be restricted during the night curfew in Andhra Pradesh?
All gatherings and congregations, including marriages, religious and social events, would be permitted to a maximum of 200 participants at outdoor locations and 100 at indoor locations, the order said. Complying with Covid Appropriate Behaviour is mandatory, the order added.
In public transportation, both staff and passengers shall wear masks compulsorily. Establishments such as firms, shops and others shall maintain wearing of masks in their premises and allowing any person without a mask into its premises shall attract a penalty of Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000 depending upon the gravity of the offence, the order said.
If any gross violation occurs in the following COVID protocol in any market or commercial establishment, such establishment shall be closed for one or two days depending on the seriousness of the violation. Religious institutions shall ensure compulsory maintenance of physical distancing, wearing of masks and proper sanitation.
The state government, however, exempted hospitals, diagnostic labs, pharmacies, print and electronic media, telecommunications, internet service, broadcasting services, petrol pumps, power generation, transportation and distribution, water supply and sanitation, officers and officials of government, local bodies, medical personnel, passengers coming from airports, railway stations and bus stands with valid tickets and all inter-State and intra-State movement of goods.
Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh High Court decided to conduct only virtual hearings from January 17 in view of the surge in Covid-19 cases.
A High Court notification said the virtual hearings would continue till further notice. The High Court also asked the lower courts and tribunals to conduct virtual hearings in the prevailing situation.