At least 60 students from a residential school at Electronics City in Bengaluru have tested positive for COVID. Among the 60, one student who had high fever is undergoing treatment at Lady Curzon and Bowring Hospital, while another one is in home quarantine.
District Collector (DC) of Bengaluru Urban District J Manjunath confirmed it. "Out of 480 students, 60 students tested positive for COVID-19. Two students had mild symptoms and both are under hospital care. The rest of the students were quarantined with a proper medical facility," he said.
The remaining students of Sri Chaitanya Girls' Residential School, all of whom are asymptomatic so far, have been quarantined at an isolation facility on the school's premises. The facility has now been closed and may reopen on or after October 20.
"We will conduct retest on the seventh day. The school has been closed till 20 October. There is no cause for worry, this is a proactive measure. This is a boarding school, students were there for last one month & when they came in, they had no symptoms. Out of the 60 students who tested positive, only 2 are symptomatic. Our team is there, we have tested everyone," added Manjunath.
Physical classes had restarted at the school for senior students on September 5 with 57 fully vaccinated staff, including 22 teachers, and 485 students. On September 26, one student who had reportedly travelled from Ballari, started developing symptoms like fever, vomiting and diarrhoea following which she tested positive for COVID.
According to Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike officials, all the students were then tested and 27 of the 105 students who underwent Rapid Antigen Test were found to be infected, while another 33 of 424 inmates undergoing RTPCR test turned out to be positive. Of the 60 students, 14 are from Tamil Nadu and 46 are from various parts of Karnataka.
Are Schools Reopening A Good Idea?
The development comes ahead of several states, including Assam and Maharashtra, deciding to reopen schools next month. According to experts at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), schools need to be reopened in a phased manner (beginning with primary schools followed by secondary schools) and allowed to remain open and safe with multi-layered mitigation measures.
In an opinion piece published in The Indian Journal of Medical Research, the experts cited a UNESCO report which stated that closing down of schools in India for more than 500 days have affected over 320 million children.
Parents, however, are hesitant to send their children to school. In fact, a survey last month revealed that nearly 48 per cent parents are not willing to send their children to schools till they are vaccinated against COVID.