While the number of COVID-19 patients soared to 640 early Wednesday, with 15 deaths reported so far, the district administration in Agra claimed that there was no community spread of the virus so far and pool sampling was being done.
District Magistrate P.N. Singh said pool sampling was being conducted in a big way to identify the infected and reach the end of the chain in the 42 hot spots of the city. Health workers, police personnel and vegetable vendors were the new vulnerable groups.
Of the 640 cases, 241 had recovered and returned home.
The police has sealed the district borders and those arriving from outside were being compulsorily quarantined.
The Agra Municipal Corporation, according to Mayor Navin Jain was engaged in sanitising hot spots. Fogging operations too had begun to control mosquitoes. The local body was also trying to provide vegetables through its network of sanitary inspectors and corporators in the hot zones, though there have been numerous complaints from people about the quality of the vegetables.
Meanwhile, a local Homeopathy Institute, claimed it had been permitted by the ICMR to experiment some new drugs to control Covid-19. The Nemi Nath Institute of Homeopathy management said it had succeeded in developing some medicines that would help control the spread of the deadly virus.
The area of concern in Agra remains the poor medical back up services in the scores of quarantine centres. A large number of patients in the S.N. Medical College, have been complaining of lack of attention and facilities. A cancer patient on Tuesday had her feet nibbled by rats as the hospital staff failed to look after her. The principal later clarified that prompt attention had been given and facilities were being geared up.
Another worry of the district authorities on Wednesday was the inroads Covid-19 was making in the rural hinterland which so far had remained unaffected. Over 50 villages have been identified for prompt remedial measures. Entry of outsiders has been banned and village monitoring committees were keeping a strict vigil.