Even as more relaxations have been announced by the Uttar Pradesh government in Unlock 4, the surge in Covid-19 numbers in the Agra region continues at an alarming rate. And there is a growing chorus in the Taj city for involving the private sector in the battle against Covid-19.
In the last 24 hours, Agra reported 65 positive cases, Mathura 45, Firozabad 57, Mainpuri 43, Etah 17 and Kasganj 11.
The total Covid-19 cases in Agra are 2,837 with 107 deaths, Mathura has 2,020 cases with 47 deaths, Kasganj 765 cases with six deaths, Etah 914 with 10 deaths, Firozabad 1,470 cases with 47 deaths, Mainpuri 1,490 with 26 deaths. The highest numbers have been reported in the month of August.
The surge in numbers is explained by officials as a cumulative result of a higher number of daily tests. From 9,412 samples in June, the number of samples in Agra has gone up to over 66,500 in August.
The state health department officials sound confident in terms of medical infrastructure and trained manpower now available to battle Covid-19 in Agra. A healthy recovery rate of 80 per cent plus has been maintained. “We have more beds available now and more ambulances,” says Chief Medical Officer (CMO) R.C. Pande.
“The picture is unclear,” said Indian Medical Association (IMA) secretary Sanjay Chaturvedi though.
“I do not understand why private laboratories are not being permitted to collect samples from homes, why every patient has to line up at the government hospitals, thus exposing more people. One suspects it’s all a numbers game, they want to keep numbers in check, that is all.
“Unfortunately, the rural hinterland is now getting exposed to the infection, as more and more people are coming to the cities for work,” the IMA Secretary added.
A large number of senior medical practitioners in the city feel that by denying the private sector medical infrastructure to play its role, the government was only prolonging the agony of the people as the treatment was inordinately getting delayed.
“Those who are in home isolation do not enjoy the facility of sample collection from their homes by the private labs. If an infected person moves out of his home isolation to give a sample at the government facility, chances of his infecting ten others are greater,” Chaturvedi said.
The Covid-19 vaccine trial has been put on hold at the S.N. Medical College, though volunteers had registered.