Film city euphoria fails to bring cheer to Covid-hit Agra region

Agra, Sep 23 (IANS) Amid the announcement by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to set up the biggest film city in India in Greater Noida, that will have a ripple effect on the adjoining Braj mandal, the grim reality of Covid-19 infection spreading its tentacles in the region, has subdued the euphoria.
The local organisations of the artists, writers and culture-agents, including Mathura MP actor Hema Malini, have welcomed Yogi’s announcement to set up a huge film city in the western part of the state. This will definitely be a big boost for promotion of local culture and open gates for employment to the local youth, said Surendra Sharma, president of the Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society.
The Agra Mayor Navin Jain has written a letter to the Chief Minister to congratulate him and also suggest that a mini film city should also be opened in Agra.
However, the health scene remains grim. As daily testing has gone up in the past month, the number of people testing positive has also shown an upward trend. In the past 24 hours, Agra reported 127 fresh cases and one death. The tally now is 5,125, the number of discharged after recovery is 4,048. The number of active cases is 958, cure rate 78.99 per cent, case fatality rate 2.32 per cent, sample positivity rate 2.99 per cent.
The overall picture remains dismal, particularly as the medical infrastructure is showing signs of strain. The 45 public health centres have proven inadequate and unequal to the challenge that is now emerging. The S. N. Medical College is under pressure to increase the number of ICU beds from 160 (all full) to at least 180. Health officials said the work has already begun.
District Magistrate P. N.Singh assured there were enough beds in the district hospital and the supplies had improved. A private hospital was being roped in to broadbase services in case of need.
The district health officials have been holding camps to sensitive people to follow the guidelines and stay safe. The psychological effect of the reopening of the Taj Mahal and the Fort, has been helpful and people are slowly coming out of their shells with precautions. The expectations are that from the first week of October, more people would start arriving from trains and flights to Agra.
But the health experts also warn that the winter would only aggravate the depressing health scenario. Retired Lt. Col (Dr) Rajesh Chauhan told IANS: “That would be the time for people to be extremely careful as the cold conditions could bring flu back in deadly combination with Covid-19.” Chauhan sees little light at the end of the tunnel, till vaccine with proven efficacy and medicines become available.

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