Agra gears up for ‘feared’ winter surge of corona patients

Fearing a surge in the number of Covid-19 patients as winter sets in later this month, the S.N. Medical College has begun gearing up to cope with the imminent challenge.

Officials said 280 beds, including 140 ICU beds would be added soon. The hospital’s OPD was being streamlined and the switch over to a whole lot of medical services was being worked out to prevent doctors and paramedical staff from getting exposed.

In the past 24 hours, 47 fresh cases were reported while the sample collection was now close to two lakh. District Magistrate P.N. Singh said there were 598 active cases while the total number stood at 5,943. The number of discharged after recovery was 5,217.

For the first time, the recovery rate has gone up to 87.78 per cent. The sample positivity rate has come down to 2.98 per cent from last week’s 3.04 per cent.

The district health department has allowed some blood banks to collect plasma from donors. Efforts have also been stepped up to mobilise voluntary blood donors after the blood banks reported a shortage of blood in their stocks.

Meanwhile, the number of visitors to the Taj Mahal and other monuments has shown some improvements. The hotels are now geared to welcome guests as more trains are expected to resume normal operations.

The local tourism industry leaders expect more domestic tourists this year than foreign visitors. “Once Agra’s air connectivity with other major cities in India is restored, as is the plan of the government, we expect the number to swell,” tourist guide Ved Gautam said.