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Karnataka: Health department on toes after students at nursing colleges test positive for Covid-19

32 students of Noorunnisa Institute of Nursing in Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) tested positive for Covid on August 30, following 35 previous cases since August 24.

The Karnataka government has taken measures to intensify checks at nursing colleges and other higher educational institutions in the state in the wake of a high number of students returning from neighbouring states such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra contracting Covid-19.

For instance, 32 students of Noorunnisa Institute of Nursing in Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) tested positive for Covid on August 30, following 35 previous cases since August 24.

“The first three cases were reported on August 24, six days after the students were brought in a college bus from Kerala on August 18. The infection had then spread to more students as more students, 15 each on August 28 and 29, and another 32 on August 30 tested positive subsequently. All students were Kerala returnees,” an official from the Kolar district administration told The Indian Express. He added that the college was declared a containment zone with all who tested positive moved to Covid Care Centres.

Meanwhile, health commissioner KV Trilok Chandra had directed the district health officer to issue a notice to the institution seeking explanation and details regarding the same. “All nursing and other higher educational institutions in Kolar district will be inspected to find out if students from Kerala, Tamil Nadu or any other state have arrived there recently,” he said.

Further, the health department is likely to enhance surveillance measures across educational hubs in the state including Bengaluru, Mangaluru and Udupi. “As the high positivity rate in neighbouring Kerala continues to persist, we have already initiated orders to ensure students returning from Kerala undergo a mandatory week-long quarantine. This will be strictly followed even if they are double-vaccinated and have an RT-PCR negative report,” additional chief secretary Jawaid Akhtar said.

Earlier last month, Dakshina Kannada district health officer said that students entering the state from neighbouring Kerala constitute nearly 15 per cent of the new cases daily. “Even though their RT-PCR results are negative upon entry, we have been observing that many of them test positive nearly a week after they arrive,” he had said.

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