Amid looming threat of Omicron, a new variant of Coronavirus, in the state, the Uttar Pradesh government on Friday announced a night curfew – from 11 pm to 5 am, starting tomorrow (Saturday). Various other restrictions have also been put in place, including that not more than 200 people can be allowed in weddings. As of Friday morning, Health Ministry data says that India has 358 confirmed Omicron cases. The tally is likely to rise due to the festive celebrations ahead. The Poll-bound UP is the second Indian state, after Madhya Pradesh, to impose night-time restrictions.
Maharashtra reported the highest number of 88 cases of the Omicron variant, followed by Delhi with 67, Telangana 38, Tamil Nadu 34, Karnataka 31, and Gujarat 30.
The Allahabad High Court On Thursday also requested the Election Commission to postpone the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections in view of the increasing spread of Omicron variant of Covid-19. A Bench of Justice Shekhar Kumar Yadav, said the number of patients infected with Omicron are increasing and there is a possibility of a third wave. The court also requested the Election Commission of India to immediately stop such rallies, gatherings and order political parties to campaign through TV channels and newspapers. The keenly-awaited Uttar Pradesh assembly election is scheduled early next year, all political parties are on a campaign spree to woo voters.
While numerous studies have shown that the Omicron wave of infections may have milder impact in comparison to the Delta variant. However, health experts say that this should not result in any sort of laxity on part of either general public of local officials. Also, the lack of enough genome sequencing infrastructure makes it difficult to understand the true extent of the spread of the new variant.