South India

101, including 90 students, test Covid positive in Karnataka school; samples to be sent for genome sequencing

Initially, 59 students and 10 staff members tested positive for Covid-19 in the school located in Karnataka's Chikkamagaluru district. On Monday, the numbers rose after 21 more students and one staff were found to be infected with the virus.

As many as 101 people, including 90 students, in a school in Karnataka’s Chikkamagaluru district have tested positive for coronavirus disease (Covid-19), adding to the already existing cluster of infections in the area amid the spread of Omicron in the country, officials said on Monday.

Their samples will be sent for genome sequencing to find out if anyone has been infected with the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus, Chikkamagaluru district health officer (DHO) Dr SN Umesh told news agency ANI.

As many as 69 people, including 59 students and 10 staff members, in the Jawahar Navodaya School in Seegodu were initially found to be positive for Covid-19 on Saturday. According to the latest update, the number has now risen to 101 after 21 more students and one staffer tested positive for coronavirus.

Following the discovery of mass-scale Covid-19 positive cases, the district health officer said.

A total of 457 samples were collected from the school, of which, 69 tested positive the first time. On Monday, the figure went up and now 90 students and 11 staff members from the educational institution have been found to be positive for Covid-19.

Karnataka has been combatting several Covid-19 clusters amid the Omicron threat. On Sunday, a new cluster was identified at a private nursing school in Shivamogga called Nanjappa Institute of Nursing Sciences in which as many as 29 students tested positive for the virus. Shivamogga deputy commissioner KB Sivakumar said most of these students are asymptomatic and that the hostel premises have been sealed.

To better tackle the situation, Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai announced a set of rules for cluster management. According to latest guidelines, if an area confirms three cases of Covid-19, it would be declared a cluster. Furthermore, both doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been made mandatory for visiting apartment complexes, and if a building has been declared a cluster, no outsider will be permitted to enter. The state government has classified schools, colleges and hostels in one cluster, and apartment complexes in another.

Amid Omicron fear in Karnataka with two positive cases reported so far, a new Covid cluster has been identified at a private nursing school in Karnataka’s Shivamogga with 29 nursing students testing positive. Most of these students are asymptomatic. “We are doing random sampling at many places and found out that few students, who came from different states at a private nursing school, contracted COVID. We have sealed the hostel premises. Around 29 students have turned positive from the institution,” Shivamogga deputy commissioner KB Sivakumar said.

This comes as India’s Omicron tally climbed up to 23 on Monday after two cases of the new variant of Covid-19 were detected in Mumbai. The Maharashtra health department said that both the patients do not have any symptom and are currently admitted to Seven Hills Hospital. With this, Maharashtra’s Omicron tally has reached 10.

On Sunday, 17 cases of the strain were reported, with nine being from Jaipur and seven from Maharashtra. On Saturday, one Omicron case was reported from Maharashtra’s Thane. Karnataka has reported two cases of Omicron so far.

Meanwhile, samples of nine people in Punjab’s Ludhiana have been sent for genome sequencing after they were found to be positive for coronavirus on Sunday. District epidemiologist Dr Ramesh Bhagat told Hindustan Times that none of the patients is non-resident Indians (NRIs) or have a history of international travel, and their symptoms are typical of the virus.

India has issued revised travel guidelines for international arrivals that include mandatory quarantine and RT-PCR test. The country has also deferred the resumption of international flights from December 15 onwards. However, unlike a host of nations, including the US, Canada and Japan, India is yet to impose travel bans on affected countries in southern Africa due to the Omicron Covid-19 variant’s discovery.


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