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55-hour lockdown begins in Agra; COVID cases tally up to 1,374
Agra, July 11, 2020
A 55-hour long lockdown began late Friday evening to contain the spread of COVID-19 infection in the city of the Taj Mahal.
This period will be used to sanitise areas, step up cleanliness drive and screen people in the containment zones, health department officials said early Saturday morning.
With 17 fresh cases, Agra's tally now stands at 1,374. The death toll is 91, while 1,115 have been discharged after recovery. The number of active cases is 168. The recovery rate is 81.15 per cent.
The number of containment zones has gone up to 81. "The overall condition is not encouraging at the moment," a medical practitioner said.
The face-off between the district health department officials and the members of the Indian Medical Association, Agra branch, continues. The IMA members want action on their charter of demands which includes permission to local private laboratories to conduct tests. "If private testing facilities are allowed, patients would come out and get tested so that treatment could start promptly," a member said.
Before the three-day lockdown began, markets saw a big rush of people buying essentials and other items, after a rumour floated that the lockdown could be extended indefinitely.
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed district authorities to break the COVID-19 transmission chain, through mopping and screening. The municipal areas, particularly those that are densely populated, should be thoroughly cleaned up and people screened during this brief lockdown, state officials said.
Agra district magistrate warned the locals that those who violated the norms would be sternly dealt with and fined for not wearing masks or moving around without valid permission.
Bus services have been suspended and police pickets have barricaded all entry and exit points in the city.
Meanwhile, the special officer appointed by the UP chief minister for Agra took stock of the situation and directed to increase efforts to up the state of cleanliness to contain bacteria-borne diseases in the rainy season. He also advised district officials to gear up for floods.
Under the COVID Surveillance Programme, 1,587 teams surveyed over one lakh families. More than 3,000 people were identified suffering from a variety of health issues, mostly diabetes.
The SN Medical College has become the first state-run medical college to begin plasma therapy. Marked improvement was noted by a team of doctors after a 51-year-old patient was administered doses of plasma.
The COVID-19 cases in Mathura and Kasganj have caused alarm. Mathura reported 20 fresh cases, Kasganj eight, Mainpuri three and Etah one.