COVID-19 clusters in two govt. schools in Karnataka

Two teachers and seven students from a government high school at B. Narayanapura in K.R. Puram in Bengaluru and another 15 students from a school at Kalagi town of Kalaburagi have tested positive for COVD-19.

In a first, the Bengaluru civic body declared the high school as a cluster and sealed it. It will remain closed for 14 days, and physical classes will resume once an all-clear is given, said civic officials. The Kalaburagi school too is closed.

A residential complex in Chikkalasandra in Vasanthapura ward was also declared a cluster after eight people contracted COVID-19. Four cases were first reported on February 25, following which the BBMP tested the primary and secondary contacts of all residents.

In the school in Bengaluru, two teachers had tested positive for COVID-19 on February 27, following which 160 of 188 students were also tested. Of these, the reports of seven students came back positive, though they remain asymptomatic, said officials. Six of them could not be placed under home quarantine and were shifted to K.R. Puram General Hospital. As many as 66 primary contacts and 53 secondary contacts have been traced so far, said officials, adding that the remaining 28 students will also be tested.

According to education officials, primary school students and staff whose school is in the adjoining area were also tested on Monday and Tuesday.

The entire school has been sanitised and all the necessary COVID-19 protocol has been followed, a senior official of the department said. A report has been sent to the Primary and Secondary Education Minister and the officials of the Department of Public Instruction.

A teacher told The Hindu that it was possible her colleague contracted the infection during the commute to the school. “Almost all of us travel to school using public transport and are at the risk. Therefore, it is important that the government considers us as frontline workers and vaccinates us at the earliest,” said the teacher.

Primary and Secondary Education Minister S. Suresh Kumar had in fact written to the Central government and asked them to consider teachers as frontline workers and vaccinate them.

At Kalagi school in Kalaburagi, all those who tested are asymptomatic. Most of the students are from hamlets, and are migrants who returned from Mumbai. Sources in Kalgi said some of the families attended a marriage party on February 26.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 12:05:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/covid-19-clusters-in-two-govt-schools-in-karnataka/article34000257.ece

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