More than the lack of medical facilities, it is the critical delay in testing samples of Covid-19 to ensure early treatment of patients, that has taken a heavy toll of lives in Agra which has recorded 93 deaths in around 100 days.
So cumbersome and time-consuming is the process of sampling that most suspected cases go unreported. “People on their own are reluctant to come forward to give samples, as they have to wait for long and go through an agonising procedural process. The patients are also scared of being sentenced to quarantine in facilities that are ill equipped, and reportedly unhygienic,” explained a health worker attached to an NGO.
So far Agra has tested only 30,510 samples. The SN Medical College, district hospital and the JALMA centre run by the ICMR, have a collective testing capacity of more than a thousand daily.
“If only people could get samples checked without fear and delay, and confined to friendly hospitalisation, the results would show a marked improvement. The private nursing homes are compounding the problem by squeezing the victims and when things get out of control, the patients are referred to government hospitals,” complained a family member of a victim.
In the last 24 hours, 14 fresh cases have been reported in Agra, while Firozabad reported 23 and Kasganj 12.
Agra district magistrate P.N. Singh said the total now stands at 1,411 cases, of which 1,154 had recovered. The number of active cases is 164.
More than 1,550 teams under the Covid Surveillance Programme, scheduled to end July 15, have surveyed over a lakh homes and collected health related data.
Health department officials collected 67 samples of the inmates of the temporary jail at the MD Jain Inter College. All those arrested are first lodged in this temporary jail for 14 days and only when the report comes, are they transferred to the district or the central jail.
On Monday markets opened in all areas, except in the buffer and the containment zones.