A newspaper journalist was among two people who died due to the Covid-19 in Agra on Thursday. The local office of the newspaper has been turned into a quarantine facility by the district administration after almost the entire unit staff has been found infected with the virus.

So far, 679 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Agra, the worst-hit city in Uttar Pradesh by the pandemic. The city has reported 22 virus-related deaths till now, including the deputy editor of a leading newspaper and a 14-years-old boy.

The infection has also spread through the Agra Central Jail, where 14 prisoners and 16 prison guards have tested positive for coronavirus and have been placed under quarantine.

A prison officer told India Today TV that a 60-year-old prisoner, a brain stroke and hypertension patient, was brought in from Jhansi a few days back and had tested positive for coronavirus. The prison official said that it is quite probable that he was the cause of spreading the infection among the prisoners and prison guards.

Deputy Inspector General of Prisons Luv Kumar said that the Central Jail as well as the district jail, have been sanitised and the infected prisoners have been quarantined. Strong steps are being taken to protect the prisoners from the virus, including shifting the suspected inmates to a temporary jail. As many as 34 prisoners at the temporary jail have tested negative after which they were shifted to the quarantine ward of the district jail.

With Covid hospitals full, the administration is finding it tough to make arrangements for treating the increasing number of coronavirus patients in the district. This has forced the administration to deliberate on the possibility of treating the patients after placing them in home quarantine.

District Magistrate Prabhu N Singh said that discussions are on to place the infected patients under home quarantine. This practice has already been adopted by the Delhi government and even the Uttar Pradesh government has agreed to it. The administration is now waiting for an official government order in this regard.

Prabhu N Singh said that people who live in small families and can have a separate room and bathroom, and have general symptoms, will be home quarantined and a medical team will take care of such patients, providing them the medical assistance they need in the comfort of their homes.

Senior physician Dr SK Kalra said that if the government issues an order for home quarantine for the infected, Agra will be the first district in UP to put it into practice. The central government has already approved this type of treatment as this will not only bring down the death rate, but the Covid-19 patients will also get better treatment.

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