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Educational institutions become epicentre of COVID-19 in Odisha

Educational institutes seem to have become the epicentre of the resurgence in COVID-19 in Odisha, with 32 students in a Bhawanipatna private college testing positive for coronavirus on Monday.

“After a person from the private college tested positive, we started contact tracing. As many as 32 students and employees have been found infected by the virus. The testing is going on,” Chief District Medical Officer of Kalahandi Pratap Kumar Behera told The Hindu over phone.

Dr. Behera said one person in Kendriya Vidyalaya in Bhawanipatna also tested positive. “We will carry out rapid antigen tests of employees and students who had come in contact,” he said.

According to the CDMO, three students had mild fever while all others were asymptomatic. The Institute has been sealed while infected students, who are staying hostels, have been isolated.

“During contact tracing, we came to know that some of them had come from Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh,” Dr. Behera said.

Ever since the daily COVID-19 spike crossed 100-mark, Nuapada, a small district bordering Chhattisgarh, has been reporting a high number of cases. Nuapada is also adjacent to Kalahandi.

The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation also reported 32 new cases on Monday, including 11 students from different institutes in the city. Earlier the National Institute of Technology, Rourkela and Indian Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar had also reported positive cases.

In Cuttack, 25 students had tested positive from an educational institute leaving the administration worried.

No closure

Despite detection of a high number of COVID-19 infected students in educational institutes, School and Mass Education Minister Sameer Dash ruled out shutting down government schools where offline classes of students from Class IX to Class XII were continuing. He said since there was no report of any infection from State-run schools, the classes would continue.

Meanwhile, district administrations across the State strictly enforced prohibition on Holi celebration at public places. People preferred to apply colour and exchanged pleasantries in close groups on campuses of residential complexes here.

Crew test positive

Fourteen crew members of a cargo ship, which was to transport coal from Paradip Port, have tested positive for coronavirus. The port authorities said the members of the ship have not had any interaction with the local population.

The ship A.P. Kayas had originated from Tuticorin Port and was scheduled to load coal at Paradip Port.

Doctors came across COVID-19 symptoms among crew. “Of the 28 members, 14 were found to be infected with coronavirus. They were shifted to Bhubaneswar for treatment and quarantined. The rest of the crew were isolated in the ship,” said Rajendra Panigrahi, a port doctor.

Dr. Panigrahi said the ship had been sanitised twice and it would be allowed to load coal after 14 days of self-quarantine by the ship employees.

Odisha has reported 208 new COVID-19 cases and one death on Monday. Western Odisha district of Nuapada reported the highest number of 36 cases followed by Khordha with 33. The government on Sunday sealed a coaching institute in Bhubaneswar after 20 students tested positive.

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 10:12:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/14-crew-of-cargo-ship-test-positive-for-covid-19-at-paradip-port/article34189951.ece

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