As many as 60 students tested positive for COVID-19 in Bengaluru-based Sri Chaitanya Girls’ Residential School. This was found out after one of the students attending physical classes was found to be symptomatic.
Of the 60 students who have tested positive, one student has been admitted to Lady Curzon and Bowring Hospital, one is under home quarantine, while the remaining 58 students have been quarantined in the hostel. The school, which had reopened on 5 September, will now remain closed till 20 October.
The incident has alarmed the Karnataka education department, which has allowed all schools to reopen in districts with a positivity rate of less than one percent from 1 October.
BC Nagesh, Karnataka’s minister for primary and secondary education had said, “The technical committee has allowed full capacity for Classes 6 to 12 from 1 October. After Dasara, the (COVID) task force will meet again then decide on reopening Classes from 1 to 5. Since there are viral infections going on there are some delays.”
All the students who have been tested positive are from Classes 11 and 12. According to a News18 report, among the students who have contracted the virus, 46 are from Karnataka while 14 are from Tamil Nadu.
The school had resumed physical classes for senior students on 5 September with 57 fully vaccinated staff, including 22 teachers, and 485 students. On 26 September, one pupil, who had reportedly come from Ballari, started developing symptoms like fever, vomiting and diarrhea following which she was found to be infected by the virus.
There are a total of 480 students in the residential school. Although the rest of the students are asymptomatic, they have been asked to follow home quarantine. The authorities will conduct a re-test on students on the seventh day.
J Manjunath, Bengaluru Urban deputy commissioner told news agency ANI, “This is Sri Chaitanya educational institution. On Sunday evening, one student complained of vomiting and diarrhea. We immediately sprung into action. There were 480 students, all were checked. 60 students tested positive."
He added, “This is a boarding school, students were there for the last one month and when they came in, they had no symptoms. Out of the 60 students who tested positive, only two are symptomatic. Our team is there, we have tested everyone."
“There is no cause for worry, this is a proactive measure. Out of the 60 students who have tested positive, 14 are from Tamil Nadu and the rest of them are from various parts of the state," informed J Manjunath
Meanwhile, even as the authorities have completed sanitising the school and hostel premises, parents of several students have called for taking back their wards. Recently, in Kolar district, about 12 students of a school tested positive for the virus, six pupils of two other institutes were also found to be infected.