Many campuses in Karnataka turn into infection zones | Mysuru News – Times of India
A file picture of students of Maharani Cluster University attending an exam in PPE after a student was infected
MYSURU/MANGALURU/HUBBALLI: Schools and colleges across the state are fuelling the surge in Covid-19 cases with clusters breaking out on campuses, leading to many of them being declared containment zones. As a result, many parents wantt the government to scrap on-campus classes and resume online and Vidyagama lessons.
On Saturday, nine students of a government hostel in KR Nagar, Mysuru, tested positive. This is after five students of a government high school on the outskirts of the city had also tested positive, while 18 students in a school in Bannur were infected, which together with contacts totalled 78 cases.
Teachers say fear of infection is affecting classroom activities. “Conducting academic activities with everyone fearful is a difficult task,” a teacher said. “But there is no alternative as many government school children do not have access to online classes.”
Parents, though, are adamant. “The government should close schools at least for a few days until the pandemic situation eases,” said Sahana Anant, a resident of Siddarthanagar.
However, Panduranga, DDPI said, “Barring a few, schools are largely Covid-19 free. If they follow all the safety guidelines strictly, they can keep campuses infection-free.”
10 containment zones
Dakshina Kannada, which has pupils coming from across the Kerala border, is even more badly hit. At least 10 institutions have been declared containment zones, while in neighbouring Udupi more than 800 cases were reported from Manipal Institute of Technology alone. Officials blame it on mismanagement and violations of protocols.
Dr Ramachandra Bairy, DHO of DK, said although Mangalore University campus in Konaje and a private university campus in Mangaluru had reported more than five cases each, the students were in different departments/ blocks and hence the campuses were not made containment zones.
Dr Bairy blamed college administrations, especially nursing colleges. “They took the spread of infection lightly,” he said. “Medical/nursing colleges have a ‘know-it-all’ and ‘I don’t care’ attitude as they are in the healthcare industry. Nursing colleges have the highest number of students from Kerala and they allowed these students on campus without RT-PCR negative certificates.”
Nitesh Patil, Dharwad deputy commissioner, on Sunday said the health department is conducting Covid-19 testing in colleges after 13 positive cases were reported in Vidyaniketan PU College in Hubballi, five in JG College of Commerce College, two in BVB Engineering College and two in Mahesh PU College, Dharwad. Besides these, SDM College of Engineering and Technology in Dharwad has recorded 18 cases.
Patil too blamed managements, saying SOPs are ignored even after repeated appeals. He warned legal action would be taken if rules continued to be broken.