Agra : The concerted battle against Covid-19 has entered a critical phase in the Agra region comprising Mathura, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Etah, Kasganj and the Taj city, as sampling has been stepped up and teams of health workers are now busy screening the vast rural hinterland for suspected cases.
The alarm signals are loud and clear as cases continue to indicate a rising graph, despite renewed efforts to check the infection spread. Each district has a senior IAS official to coordinate activities of various agencies and give a direction to the battle.
A senior official said: "Results would start showing in a week or 10 days. Right now the sampling work is being continuously improved.
"Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has stressed the importance of testing, which he wants to touch 50,000 a day."
In the last 24 hours, Mainpuri has reported 67 fresh cases, Etah 18, Mathura 17 and Agra 15.
District Magistrate of Agra P.N. Singh said there were 159 active cases and the recovery rate was 82.6 per cent.
So far the death toll in Agra is 94. The total number of Covid-19 cases stands at 1,454. Over 1,200 have recovered. The city has 84 containment zones.
The chief worry of shopkeepers and various market associations right now is to open the commercial establishments in the containment and buffer zones to ensure expected uninterrupted sales of goods and commodities for the festival season beginning with Eid at the month end.
Shopkeepers in Rawat Pada area staged a dharna protesting arbitrariness by police officials in raising barricades to prevent movement in the interior parts of the city.
District authorities have refused permission for fairs and religious congregations at the Shiva temples in the month of Shravan. The annual parikrama has not been permitted. Muslim leaders have asked for clarity as they fear restrictions on Eid.
Some health activists have asked for investigation into claimed benefits of immunity boosters flooding the markets. All sorts of Ayurvedic and herbal preparations are being marketed, without verification of their efficacy or side effects. Brisk sale of Ayurvedic drugs has been reported from all over in the last fortnight.