As colleges and hostels are set to reopen in Karnataka on Tuesday, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has taken the responsibility of ensuring that the guidelines and the standard operating procedure issued by the state government are followed.
RT-PCR tests for students, teachers and non-teaching staffs have been made compulsory at least 72 hours before entering their respective campuses.
The BBMP, in order to ensure that everyone goes through the test, has decided to deploy mobile swab collection teams near colleges and higher education institutions across the city.
According to Indian Express, around 450 mobile swab collection teams from the nearest public healthcare centres (PHCs) will be deployed to help with the collection of samples that can be sent for testing which is free of cost.
"This is in addition to the 141 BBMP Urban PHCs that have been mapped to colleges, where samples will be collected between 9 am and 5 pm," BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad said.
Prasad also talked about the number of colleges which are located within BBMP limits and said that there are 432 colleges located within their reach having around 60,000 students, teachers, and the non-teaching staff.
"The colleges are expecting around 30 per cent student attendance initially. BBMP's swab collection units will be able to cover this population within two days. With more students expected to attend classes, more teams will be deployed near the higher education institutions," he said.
In order to avoid delays in sample collection, the BBMP has also decided to follow up on the testing.
"Samples taken will be sent promptly to labs to get reports within 24 hours. Medical officers will monitor the process to avoid delays and will send sample collection data daily to the higher authorities," another BBMP official added.
Priya Prakash, a final year B.com student at a private college in Bengaluru said that if implemented properly, this will help students like me who have been in a fix on how to get samples tested on time. "However, my college has made offline classes available only for final year students and has asked us to furnish a negative COVID-19 certificate online three days prior to the day each student plans to attend offline classes."
The Karnataka government had decided in October to reopen engineering, diploma and degree colleges (including pg) which were shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The students have the option of attending online or offline classes or can use both the options.
Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar in the last week announced that the government has decided to reopen all medical, dental, AYUSH, paramedical, nursing, and pharmacy colleges affiliated to the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences from December 1.