COVID-19: 66 fully-vaccinated medical students in Karnataka test positive; cases in Odisha’s Vimsar climb to 54

The alarming reports come in the backdrop of declining cases of COVID-19, India registered 9,119 cases on Thursday, and states starting to reopen the educational intuitions

Representational image. News18

Two hostels of SDM College of Medical Sciences and Hospital in Dharwad, Karnataka, were sealed on Thursday after 66 vaccinated medical students studying there tested positive for COVID-19 . Meanwhile, the number of students with COVID-19 at Vimsar, a medical college and hospital in Odisha’s Sambalpur, climbed to 54 on the same day, up from 34 the day before.

In the case of SDM college, about 300 out of the total 400 students studying in the medical college have undergone COVID tests so far. According to officials, a students’ event almost a week ago might have resulted in the spread.

“….so far 66 students have tested positive. Three hundred students have been tested so far and the remaining 100 are also undergoing tests. By evening their results are also likely. Also, there are about 3,000 staff members, who will be tested. Those testing positive will be quarantined and treated,” deputy commissioner of Dharwad Nitesh Patil said.

Speaking to reporters after visiting the campus with officials, he said two hostels have been sealed and necessary food, medicines and other essential things are being provided there.

“Those who have tested positive will not be allowed to come out and those who are awaiting test results are also quarantined, so precautionary measures have been taken to avoid any further spread,” he said, adding that everyone in the campus will be tested.

Officials said all students of the college have received two doses of COVID vaccine. As all the staff fall under health care workers category, they would have been completely vaccinated. However, the records are being verified.

In Sambalpur, meanwhile, the infected students have been admitted to the COVID unit of the Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (Vimsar). Authorities suspect that the infection might have spread during the institute’s annual function held recently.

On Tuesday, 22 cases were reported from Vimsar and later it rose to 34. The number of infections has surged to 54 now, Vimsar dean Jayshree Dora said. Four hostels have been declared as micro-containment zones. Staff quarters and four other hostels of medical students have been declared as buffer zones, the professor said. Physical classes have been suspended for 10 days from Tuesday.

Odisha health services director Bijay Mohapatra said there was nothing to worry as it was reported in specific pockets and would be contained within four-five days.

The alarming reports come in the backdrop of declining cases of COVID-19 , India registered 9,119 cases on Thursday, and states starting to reopen the educational intuitions.

Maharashtra government has decided to reopen schools from Classes 1 to 4 in rural areas and 1 to 7 in urban areas from 1 December. The Gujarat government has allowed the resumption of physical classes for students of 1 to 5 from 22 November; Bhopal has already reopened schools with 50 percent capacity and Madhya Pradesh is likely to reopen all schools soon, Rajasthan has already permitted schools, coaching institutes, colleges, universities to resume academic activities with 100 percent capacity.

Backtracking from its earlier decision to fully reopen schools, the West Bengal government, has now only allowed the reopening of schools on an alternate day basis and Kerala reopened schools from 1 November for classes 1 to 7 and 10 and 12.

With input from agencies

Also read: New COVID variant B.1.1.529 leaves scientists worried; what you need to know

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