The Andhra Pradesh government on Monday, May 3, announced a partial curfew for 14 days, starting from May 5, in view of the COVID-19 crisis. As per a circular issued on May 3, only essential services will be allowed to function and shops would be open only between 6 am-12 noon. Those who violate the curfew will be booked under Section 144 (power to issue order in urgent cases of nuisance of apprehended danger) of the Indian Penal Code. The decision was taken following a review meeting by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. A detailed Government Order in this regard is yet to be issued.
The government order comes a day after the state recorded 23,920 COVID-19 cases and 83 deaths in 24 hours. Chittoor district in the state recorded the highest number of cases at 2,945, while Vizianagaram recorded the least, at 849. Presently, the state has a total of 1,43,178 active cases.
Meanwhile, in view of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, the Andhra Pradesh government also postponed the intermediate board exams, which were earlier scheduled to be held from May 5 to 19. â€śConsidering the Andhra Pradesh High Courtâ€™s directions to reconsider the decision to hold intermediate exams, respecting the courtâ€™s view, we are postponing the exams,â€ť state Education Minister Adimulapu Suresh had said in a statement to the media on Sunday.
â€śWe understand that students who are set to appear in the exams, and their parents, are feeling anxious amid news of rising COVID-19 cases in the country and within the state,â€ť Education Minister Adimulapu Suresh said. â€śAs soon as the situation improves, the government will announce the new dates for the exams,â€ť he had said.
Earlier, the YSRCP government had insisted on holding the exams for intermediate, the equivalent of class 11 and 12 in the state, amid objections from the opposition, Telugu Desam Party( TDP), as well as students and parents, who expressed fear about students writing exams during a surge in COVID-19 infections in the state. On April 30, the Andhra Pradesh High Court, while hearing multiple petitions seeking cancellation of the intermediate exams, asked the state government to reconsider its decision. The court had directed the state government to file an affidavit before the next hearing on May 3. â€śThe decision to postpone the exams to a later date will be conveyed to the High Court on May 3,â€ť Minister Adimulapu Suresh said.