Taj Mahal. (File Photo: IANS). Image Source: IANS News

Agra, Aug 6 : The residents of the Taj city seem to be "learning to live with the enemy" in the time of the Covid pandemic.

"Gradually, people are realising the cost of negligence and the importance of wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. The shopkeepers are careful, many sweet shops have sanitisers outside the entrance, and big signboards asking the customers not to enter without a mask," noted Shishir Bhagat, vice president of the Vyapar Mandal.

The markets and offices are now open and normalcy is gradually returning. In the Sanjay Place Commercial Complex, the main hub of trading in the city, most shops and commercial establishments have guards posted outside who advise people to wear masks and sanitise their hands, said computer parts outlet owner Chaturbhuj Tiwari. "Now very few hang around after business hours, everyone is in a hurry to reach home," he added.

"If the markets do not see the usual hustle and bustle, it is because there are no "faltu-types" roaming around. Only those who have some work stir out. Already a good share of purchases has gone online. A big transformation is already there," said Johri Bazar cloth merchant Bankey Lal Maheshwari.

Though on the surface, conditions seem to be normalising, the spurt in fresh cases of Covid-19 is a major worry for the administration. This is especially so after the daily number of tests was hiked to more than a thousand.

In the past 24 hours 35 fresh cases have been reported, taking Agra's tally to 1963, while the death toll remains at 100. The total number of active cases is 289 in 96 containment zones. The recovery rate has again gone up to 80.18 percent, after 43 patients were discharged on Wednesday. So far 59,353 samples have been collected.

In neighbouring Mathura district, 72 cases surfacing in 24 hours has alarmed the administration. Among the victims is the SSP of Mathura. In Mainpuri 12 cases were reported, while Firozabad reported 17 and Kasganj 7.

-- The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text

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