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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The Agra model? Wear PPE, throw food at people who have been locked up

This comes days after the “Agra model of containment” was showcased as a success by both the Centre and the state government.

Written by Amil Bhatnagar , Avaneesh Mishra | Lucknow, Noida | Updated: April 27, 2020 7:38:01 am
The Agra model? Wear PPE, throw food at people who have been locked up Image grab of food being distributed at a college in Agra.

In a video clip of a quarantine centre in Agra, a person wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) can be seen throwing water bottles and food packets from outside a locked gate, as dozens of people inside stretch out their hands through the iron grille and try to grab them.

This comes days after the “Agra model of containment” was showcased as a success by both the Centre and the state government.

The video clip, which is being circulated on social media, was reportedly shot at the Hindustan College, registered under the Sharda Group of Institutions, which was taken over by the Agra administration and converted into a quarantine facility.

The woman shooting the video clip can be heard saying that she was brought to the centre for a check-up, which wasn’t done.

Some residents claimed that food was distributed at the quarantine centre in a similar fashion earlier too.

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Confirming the incident, Agra District Magistrate Prabhu Narain Singh said it happened a few days ago, and “everything is fine now”.

“The situation has been taken care of. The DM has ordered an inquiry. There was a slight delay in distributing the food, that is why those staying at the quarantine centre became somewhat restless,” Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Kumar Awasthi said.

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Singh said there was a delay of about four hours in distributing the food. “There was a gap of about four hours, and (in this time) they did all this. However, it was an isolated incident, and we have made sure that no such incident is repeated. Everything has been taken care of. Everything is fine now,” he said.

“Following complaints from the Sharda Group of Institutions, I inspected the place. An inspection was done this morning too. All the faults in the system have been repaired. The Chief Development Officer (CDO) has been asked to fix responsibility. He has been asked to submit a report. The teams tasked with COVID-19 management have been asked to work properly and not let such complaints come up again,” Singh said.

While Singh said there are over 500 people at the quarantine centre, a local health official put the figure at 130.

“Most of the people at the quarantine centre are those who have small houses, where social distancing is not possible. We believe that if we let them stay in their houses, the virus will spread further. Yesterday, we brought all the close contacts of previous confirmed cases here for sampling and the process is going on,” the DM said.

Until Sunday evening, Agra had reported 372 cases (including 49 discharged) and 10 deaths.

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Agra Mayor Naveen Jain said he had written to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath earlier, stating that the authorities were only indulging in “photo ops”, and lack of proper effort was worsening the situation in the district.

“I did highlight that patients were not being admitted on time and there are problems in coordination. The CM intervened and the situation became slightly better,” he said.

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