Screening of tourists begins at Taj Mahal, other tourist sites in Agra amid fresh Covid scare
Health authorities here have begun screening visitors at the Taj Mahal and other monuments in wake of the new Covid scare, focusing their efforts mainly on foreign tourists.
The Uttar Pradesh Health department's drive is part of its efforts to contain the new BF.7 sub-variant of the coronavirus' Omicron strain, an official said.
Mainly tourists from the US, China, Japan and Brazil and European countries are being screened and their samples collected at tourism sites, including the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Akbar's Tomb.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday cautioned against complacency and directed officials to strengthen the ongoing surveillance measures, especially at international airports, amid a spurt in Covid cases in some parts of the world.
Agra Chief Medical Officer Dr Arun Srivastava stressed on the 'Trace, Test and Treat' policy to tackle the new variant. He also appealed to residents to wear masks and follow physical-distancing norms.
"Agra is a tourist city and Covid tests are being done to tackle the new virus variant. Screening is being done at the Taj Mahal's east and west gates, Agra Fort and Akbar's Tomb in Sikandra," Srivastava told PTI.
Passengers arriving at the city airport, railway stations and inter-state bus terminal are also being screened.
The Health department has also set up sample collection points at Sarojini Naidu Medical College and district hospitals and primary health centres in the city and community health centres in rural Agra. Those who have symptoms of cold, cough and fever can visit the health centres for sampling, Srivastava added.
"Residents are being asked to wear masks and maintain physical distancing in public places. They have been advised to use hand sanitisers and follow Covid guidelines to avoid infections. Residents can also get vaccinated, including the booster dose." Agra has not recorded a positive case after November 25, according to Health department data.