24 new cases take Agra Covid-19 tally to 2,290

Even as the 55-hour long weekend lockdown continues, 24 fresh cases of Covid-19 have taken Agra’s total tally to 2,290 with 102 deaths.

The number of active cases in the district now is 339. Health officials said 78,013 samples had been tested. The number of recoveries is 1,849 and the rate now is 80.79 per cent. The number of containment zones remains high at 155.

District authorities said the mini lockdown will continue till 5 a.m. (Monday morning). Markets will remain closed, except the chemist shops and doctors’ clinics.

Due to the weekend lockdown and continued closure of the schools and other educational institutes, the Independence Day celebrations remained more of a formality. The national Tricolour was unfurled at the collectorate and the Divisional Commissioner’s office. However, there were no march-pasts and cultural programmes.

Meanwhile, the local industrialists in their reactions to the media have welcomed the “very positive and encouraging” initiatives spelt out by the Prime Minister in his Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort in New Delhi. The industries in Agra region have been badly hit by the continuing pandemic.

The agricultural sector, however, has not been affected much. “The rainy spell in the last few days have brought cheer to the farmers, who were fearing a drought a fortnight ago. Agricultural operations have begun and the prospects of a good Kharif crop remain high,” commented Ravi Singh, a farmer of the Barauli Ahir block.

The river Yamuna, however, continued to remain dry and polluted. “Upstream barrages have not yet released water as the rains have not been surplus so far. The local authorities should have used this dry season to desilt and dredge the river bed to remove all pollutants. They have not been able to tap the drains that pollute the river. Also, there is still no clarity on when work will begin on the Yamuna barrage downstream of the Taj Mahal,” said eminent environmentalist Devashish Bhattacharya.