Agra industries wary of another lockdown amid rising coronavirus cases

The principal industries of Agra tourism, footwear, and petha are all suffering a major setback in the coronavirus-induced lockdown and restrictions going on for several months.

The unlocking process and reducing number of patients had given some respite to these industries and not only the petha and footwear industries, but even the tourism industry had started getting some business with the arrival of domestic tourists at the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.

The ban on international flights has dampened the spirits of the industry slightly, but overall, the positive atmosphere has been returning among the businessmen since October.

However, the signs of an impending second wave of Covid-19 cases with the arrival of the winters, and restrictions being reimposed in Delhi, it has again raised concerns among local small and medium-level businesses, who are afraid that another lockdown, however brief, could wipe them out entirely.

Uttar Pradesh recorded 2,390 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, raising the tally of total cases to 5,16,616. In the past 24 hours, 30 patients died from the infection while 7,441 people have succumbed to the infection in Uttar Pradesh so far.

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had already warned the people of the state about a possible second wave of infection. A senior official told India Today that the contact tracing and surveillance system is being kept active and the contact tracing of people arriving from other states is at a priority. The authorities are also conducting random testing at different points.

Meanwhile, Agra District Magistrate Prabhu N Singh, who is also known as the architect of the much lauded ‘Agra Model’ of infection control, has been found positive for Covid-19. He was already living in isolation after the Agra SSP was found infected. The World Health Organization (WHO) had appreciated the ‘Agra Model’ during the lockdown and urged India to follow it.

Social activist Amir Qureshi said that the way the WHO is now recommending the UP model of infection control, it is clear that the Yogi Adityanath government has been very successful in controlling the spread of Covid-19 in the state.

He said that people from Agra should avoid going to Delhi for some time as coronavirus is continuing to spread in Delhi and could piggyback on these people when they come back to Agra.

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