The Uttar Pradesh government has said it is fixing “gaps” after two mobile videos surfaced that showed people at a coronavirus quarantine centre in Agra scrambling for essentials like tea, biscuits and water from behind the locked gates of the facility.
In one of the two videos, 25 seconds long, a man in protective gear is seen throwing biscuit packets close to the gate and people from the other side stretch their hands to try and reach them.
Mineral water bottles are also kept near the gate and hands are seen reaching out for water. Social distancing, essential for those under quarantine, is totally absent in the visuals, with people under quarantine crowding behind the gate right next to each other.
The second video shows a woman saying, “This is what is being done to isolated people. We were told we will have medical check-up done at some point, but this has not happened. There are no proper arrangements for food and water. Everyone is being negligent.”
The video also shows cups of tea laid out on a table behind the closed gate of the quarantine facility.
Agra, a popular tourist destination, has reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Uttar Pradesh. The district authorities have been praised by centre for their efforts at containment or the “Agra model”.
“I went and inspected the spot. Everything has been set right. Whatever gaps were there, I have asked a senior official to investigate and fix responsibility. The team has been asked to ensure such complaints do not come again,” Agra District Magistrate Prabhu N Singh said.
India recorded 1,975 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 26,917, including 826 deaths, the Health Ministry said. Forty-seven deaths linked to the highly contagious illness were reported from different parts of the country in the last 24 hours.
Nearly 68 percent of the COVID-19 cases have been reported from 27 districts, government data shows, indicating that the virus is spreading in clusters. These “high load districts” are spread across the states and Union Territories worst hit by the pandemic – Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana, among others.