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The night curfew timings have been extended by one more hour in 8 districts in Rajasthan, which are worst affected by Covid-19, a PTI report stated. As per the official release issued on Wednesday, the markets in urban areas across the state will close by 9 pm instead of 10 pm.

Currently, a night curfew was imposed in Ajmer, Bhilwara, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kota, Udaipur, Sagwada (Dungarpur) and Kushalgarh (Banswara) last week. Currently, the curfew hours in these districts are between 11 pm and 5 pm. From now, it will start from 10 pm.

The release also said: Apart from these eight cities, the night curfew will be imposed in Chittorgarh and Abu Road (Sirohi).

However, IT companies, restaurants, chemist shops, offices related to emergency services, wedding ceremonies, transportation, travellers will be exempted from the night curfew, it added.

The decision comes after Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot chaired a COVID-19 review meeting earlier in the day.

Decision on educational institutions

During the meeting, the chief minister said that district collectors may take decisions about closing educational institutions in districts, where the cases are rising, after consultation with the government.

Some schools, colleges and higher educational institutions in the state had started partially re-opening classes from January.

Intense checking till April 14

Gehlot also asked officials to ensure compliance of the decisions.

Teams of district administration, police and local bodies will conduct checking regularly at markets. An intense checking will continue till April 14.

In the meeting, the CM directed the officials to make district-level action plans to contain the spread of the infection in the state. He also instructed them for strict adherence to 'No Mask, No Entry'.

"Saving people's lives is our top priority. In view of the increasing infection, we will not compromise at any cost and necessary decisions will be taken," he tweeted after the meeting.

Gehlot informed that instructions were issued to the officials to formulate action plans in districts and regularly monitor the situation as well as regularly review mortality and growth rates.

On Tuesday, the state reported as many as 665 COVID-19 cases taking the tally to 3,32,243. The number of active cases in the state at present is 8,155.

Meanwhile, as many as 53,480 fresh infections pushed India's COVID-19 tally to 1,21,49,335, while 354 new fatalities, the highest single-day spike so far this year, took the death toll to 1,62,468, according to Union health ministry data updated on Wednesday. The country had recorded 355 deaths on December 17.

The active caseload increased to 5,52,566 and accounts for 4.55% of the total infections. The recovery rate further dropped to 94.1%, the ministry data updated at 8 am showed.

(With inputs from agencies)

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