With the number of Covid-19 patients growing rapidly in Agra, the district is continuing to remain on top of the media attention, as well as being an eyesore for the central and state governments.
The ruling BJP holds all the cards in Agra with two MPs, nine MLAs, Mayor and corporators, all belonging to the party, which has made the party representatives look outside to blame someone for the Covid-19 outbreak and the local officials are having to bear the brunt.
Two Union Ministers have already called up journalists in Agra to know about the condition at ground-level and the central government does not appear too happy about the lack of progress in controlling the outbreak in the city.
All the public representatives, including the MPs, MLAs and the Mayor, met the Uttar Pradesh government’s team of senior nodal officers recently and made them aware of the dismal condition at the quarantine centers of Agra and also highlighted the careless attitude of the SN Medical college staff in providing treatment to Covid and non-Covid patients.
The case of a cancer patient was also highlighted, who had been seriously mauled by rats inside the cancer ward of the medical college. Another case, where a Muslim’s dead body was handed over to Hindus for cremation was also raised. Apart from these, the cases of patients being turned away from the hospital without treatment and their subsequent deaths were presented with evidence before the officials.
One of the public representatives, who was present at the meeting said that the nodal officers were asked to appoint a magistrate at the SN Medical College and the Agra District Hospital, so that the treatment of all patients could be done properly. Nodal Officer Alok Kumar assured the representatives that he will look into this issue and do the needful.
Fatehpur Sikri MP Raj Kumar Chahar raised the issue of Covid-19 spreading in rural areas of Agra and demanded the state government and local administration to take steps to control this spread, otherwise things could get a lot worse in the coming weeks.
Mayor Naveen Jain said that the highest number of complaints were against the former CMO Dr Mukesh Vats and SN Medical College Principal Dr GK Aneja and some concrete steps should be taken now to ensure that such complaints are not repeated. Agra MP SP Singh Baghel stressed on the appointment of a magistrate at the SN Medical College who can keep an eye on the treatment protocols being followed at the medical college and take action accordingly, if something was found lacking.
Baghel said that a lot of complaints are coming about the people appointed as ‘Corona fighters’ by the local administration and these complaints should be investigated properly.
MLA Yogendra Upadhyay complained that the police was not allowing anyone to enter SN Medical College, beating up anyone they found on the road, without even asking for a reason. This atrocity needs to stop immediately as caregivers of patients were being regularly beaten up by the police at the Medical College, he said.
The BJP MLA enumerated some of the demands raised by the public representatives, which included the screening of everyone within a hotspot and sanitisation of every household. He said that the appointment of a magistrate and the Public Relations Officer at the Medical College was imperative so that the relatives of patients admitted in the Medical College could get proper information.
Upadhyay further said police brutality on roads in the name of lockdown enforcement should stop immediately. He said the police may issue challans, but beating up people should be strictly prohibited. Also, people who had been forced to overstay at the quarantine centers should be released immediately after a final checkup.