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Alarm bells have begun to ring again for the distressed hospitality industry

Agra: Alarm bells have begun to ring again for the distressed hospitality industry in Agra as Covid-19 cases are daily increasing mounting pressure on the medical infrastructure.

In the past three days, 351 new cases have been reported. The number of active cases has climbed to 751. On Sunday 119 and on Saturday 102 cases were reported. On Monday alone, 130 fresh cases were reported. The total number of deaths since March 2020 is 182 now. The total number of samples collected so far is 663057. The recovery rate has come down to 91.96 from 98 per cent.

District authorities have already imposed the night curfew and have taken drastic steps to enforce Covid appropriate discipline. A slew of measures has been announced to control the crowd and restrict traffic movement in the city.

"As evening falls, the markets appear deserted. The scare is already there and people are avoiding unnecessary movements," said Vijay Nagar Colony senior resident Sudhir Gupta. The vaccination exercise has picked up some momentum, as a result.

The tourism industry is under strain. The night curfew has affected the flow of tourists to the city. During the last lockdown, the Taj Mahal remained closed for 188 days. "This along with the suspension of the international flights dented the tourism industry which was trying hard to limp back but the latest surge in Covid-19 cases has again come as a damper and the situation remains uncertain. The lean season for the tourism industry has already begun," said Rakesh Chauhan, president of the Agra Hotels and Restaurants Association.

The local shoe industry, the petha production, the hundreds of handicrafts shops, the marble inlay workshops are facing an existential crisis.

The wedding season has started on a dismal note. With restrictions on guests in place, the caterers are in acute distress. 

Artwork: Savita Pandey