Agra markets to open 5 days a week

After the 55-hour long lockdown ended, early Monday, the hustle and bustle returned to the markets here and the traffic movement increased on the highways, though historical monuments, including the Taj Mahal remains closed for visitors.

District Magistrate P. N.Singh clarified that the shops on both sides of the roads shall now remain open five days a week. The Yogi government has already announced a total lockdown for two days every week. This interval is to be used for sanitisation and mopping public places.

However, the bullion market, Namak Mandi and Kinari Bazar shall remain closed till July 19, being in the buffer zone.

Meanwhile, Agra saw a drop in fresh cases in the last 24 hours. Nine new cases were reported till Monday morning. The tally now is 1,397 cases, 92 deaths, 1,137 recoveries. From June 1 to July 11, there were 50 deaths in 41 days. A total of 80 per cent were 60 plus, majority suffering from respiratory ailments.

Mainpuri reported fresh 33 cases, Mathura nine, Firozabad two, Etah five, Kasganj eight.

Health activists said the delay in testing was the chief cause of worry. A large number of Covid-19 patients had to wait for up to four or five days for their reports. This delayed treatment and admission to the ward.

The nodal officer for sampling, however, clarified that the delay in reports was only in respect of the tests that had to be redone or reverified. Normally test reports were given in 24 hours.

The state government has permitted a large number of private hospitals to admit Covid-19 patients and provide treatment, according to a pre-fixed tariff. The fees are seen as exorbitant, beyond the capacity of the common man. The facilities at the government hospitals are free. This could increase the pressure on the state health infrastructure, the NGOs said.