Taj City Gets Relief From Covid-19

Agra: No new case of Covid-19 has been reported in the Taj city in the first four days of April.

The city is breathing free and the marriage season is again back on track. The summer season is also the time for festivals which draw people out on pilgrimage and yatras.

Thousands of people are on the road leading to the Kaila Devi temple in Rajasthan, for their annual yatra. In the Mathura district, the Goverdhan Parbat is attracting hordes of Sri Krishna devotees for the Parikrama of the holy hill that Sri Krishna is believed to have lifted on his little finger to save the Brajwasis from the wrath of Indra Dev.

Agra traders are hoping for a revival of the consumer market and brisk sales, as a new marriage season has begun. “We hope this season sees the sale of clothes, ornaments, furniture and other household goods picking up momentum after two years of the Covid pandemic,” said Bankey Lal Maheshwari, a shopkeeper of Johri Bazar in Agra.

Meanwhile, with the number of active Covid cases coming down to just three, health officials said so far, since the outbreak of the pandemic, 25,63,535 samples had been tested in the district. The official figure of deaths due to Covid is 465, though people allege that the number of fatalities could be much higher. The health infrastructure in the city, in the wake of the pandemic received a major boost, and several plants for oxygen were set up, say officials.

But the abrupt rise in temperature in March has hit tourist arrivals with the hospitality industry which saw a relative boom in the past two months, feeling the pinch now, as the number of tourists has gone down drastically.

“Actually, the tourists find it very hard to walk around in the open totally exposed, inside the monuments. And there are no shady sheds inside, so they prefer to rush back to the comfort of their hotel rooms. Movement has become difficult,” said tourist guide Ved Gautam. Though international flights have resumed, the flow of foreign tourists has still to pick up, he added.

The 17th century monument of love, the Taj Mahal is visited by over seven million tourists annually, and remains the highest foreign exchange earner as a tourism destination.

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