As many as 99 people have tested positive for COVID-19 at Dharwad’s SDM College of Medical Sciences on Friday, according to reports. This takes the total number of cases in the college to 281.
As infection numbers increase, the district administration has declared holidays for all educational institutes situated around 500 metres from the college. As per a report by The Times of India, eight ambulances are being kept ready and entry of visitors to the college has been restricted.
The Hindu has reported that the Dharwad district administration had sealed the entire campus and closed the entry and exit points as a precautionary measure.
Out of the 281 cases, only six patients are symptomatic, according to District Collector Nitish Patil, reportsThe Indian Express.
As per officials, all students were fully vaccinated, adding that a recent freshers' party organised inside the campus led to the outbreak. The party continued for two to three days. News18 reports that the students caught the infection after attending a function at an auditorium on the premises on 17 November. About 200 students and a few parents had also participated in the event.
A high alert was sounded after the cases rose to 182 on Friday. As many as 66 of them had tested positive by Thursday morning and the second phase of test results confirmed infection among 116 more.
When asked about the new coronavirus variant, named Omicron by the World Health Organisation on Friday, Karnataka health minister K Sudhakar said that the state government is monitoring the situation. "There is no case of the new variant in the state as of now," he said.
"I have asked the home department and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike to trace people who have arrived in Karnataka from southern African countries," he said.
Officials said all students of the college have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. As all the staff falls under the health care workers category, they would have been completely vaccinated. However, the records are being verified.
Two hostels on the premises have been sealed. The infected students are undergoing treatment in their hostel rooms. The movements are totally restricted and all possible measures are being taken to prevent infection from spreading.
With inputs from agencies