Karnataka and Telangana colleges witness COVID-19 clusters amid new threat of Omicron
In Karnataka, 59 students and 10 staff at the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya in Chikkamagaluru district have tested positive
Several states including Telangana and Karnataka have reported an uptick in COVID-19 cases — where over 100 students have tested positive in the few days, raising concerns amid an increasing number of infections by the virulent Omicron variant.
Meanwhile, India logged 6,822 new coronavirus infections, the lowest in 558 days, taking the country's total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,46,48,383, while the active cases declined to 95,014, the lowest in 554 days, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday.
The toll climbed to 4,73,757 with 220 fresh fatalities, according to the data updated at 8 am.
The daily rise in new coronavirus infections has been recorded below 10,000 for 11 straight days and less than 50,000 for 163 consecutive days now.
At Chalmeda Anand Rao Institute of Medical Sciences in Telangana’s Karimnagar district, 43 students tested positive for the virus, according to The News Minute. This is the third large cluster of coronavirus cases detected on educational campuses in Telangana within a week
“So far 200 people have been tested,” said Dr Juveria, Karimnagar district medical and health officer, according to NDTV. “On Monday, there will be a special camp to test all 1,000 people on the campus.”
The students had gathered to attend several events last week as a part of their annual day celebration, a health official told PTI. The college has been temporarily shut and more staff members and students are being tested.
On 2 December, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Backward Classes Welfare Residential School in Telangana’s Indresham village had reported 42 positive cases. A few days earlier, 48 students of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Telangana Backward Classes Welfare Residential School at Muthangi village had also tested positive for the coronavirus.
In Karnataka, 59 students and 10 staff at the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya in Chikkamagaluru district have tested positive, District Health Officer Dr SN Umesh told PTI. "Everyone is asymptomatic and in isolation. Two weeks ago, 306 people tested positive at a college in Dharwad district. Most were fully vaccinated," officials said, adding that a three-day long freshers' party led to the outbreak.
The incident occurred in a college in Mangaluru, and the positive results arrived after a total of 173 samples were tested for the virus. The college has now been declared a containment zone. “We have sent samples for genomic sequencing to detect the variant,” the deputy commissioner of Dakshina Kannada district Rajendra KV was quoted as saying.
The school has been temporarily sealed. In another instance, 42 persons at the Nanjappa Institute of Nursing Sciences on the outskirts of Shivamogga city tested positive for coronavirus, The News Minute reported.
This development comes only hours after the cluster Covid-19 cases reported in Chikkamagaluru district on Saturday witnessed a rise in the number of affected people, with 21 more students and one staffer testing positive for the virus.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai recently said new cases in the state were from two clusters - schools and colleges, and residential apartments. Cases from schools and colleges, particularly residential ones, are seeing reduced severity of symptoms, he said.
The state's Primary and Secondary Education Minister, BC Nagesh, told PTI the government would not hesitate to shut down schools if required. "However, in the present situation, all the experts are of the opinion that there is no problem," he said, advising people against panic as "it will be difficult to bring back children to classes".
India's Omicron case count so far
Two fully vaccinated persons who returned from abroad last month have tested positive for the new Omicron strain of coronavirus in Mumbai, the first cases of the variant found in the metropolis, the civic body said on Monday, taking the number of such infections in Maharashtra to 10. So far, Maharashtra has recorded the highest in the country.
Two cases of COVID-19 Omicron variant was reported in Mumbai on Monday, taking India’s total tally of the new coronavirus variant to 23. The first two cases were reported in Karnataka, followed by one in Gujarat and another in Maharashtra. Later on Sunday, seven cases were reported in Maharashtra’s Pune district, of which six belonged to the same family.
With inputs from agencies
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