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Kerala students reach Mangaluru, Covid cases shoot up

Kerala’s steep 13 per cent test positivity rate has led to fear of a surge in Covid-19 cases in the border district of Dakshina Kannada, especially in the backdrop of colleges reopening from Monday.

Published: 26th July 2021 03:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th July 2021 03:14 AM   |  A+A-

An healthcare worker in PPE kit treats COVID-19 patient at CWG COVID care center, in New Delhi

Representational image (Photo| ANI)

Express News Service

MANGALURU:  Kerala’s steep 13 percent test positivity rate has led to fear of a surge in Covid-19 cases in the border district of Dakshina Kannada, especially in the backdrop of colleges reopening from Monday. On Friday, Dakshina Kannada recorded 295 fresh cases, with a test positivity rate of 4.46 per cent, which is way ahead of the state average of 1.35 per cent.

Health authorities said a significant number of those testing positive in the district over the past few days are students from Kerala who have arrived in Mangaluru to attend exams for various nursing and paramedical courses, and colleges attached to some deemed universities.

Kerala students testing positive caught the local administration completely off-guard. They learnt about it only after starting micro surveillance, after the number of Covid cases started going up in the district. “We started micro surveillance and found out that many students testing positive are hostellers who arrived from Kerala for exams. On the other hand, not many Keralites are testing positive at border checkposts,” said Dr Ashok H, district nodal officer for Covid-19.

Kumar said the situation might turn worse as many colleges begin physical classes from Monday, and hence, the district administration is planning to come up with separate SOPs for the district, and make surveillance more effective. 

“There are over 30 nursing and paramedical colleges in Mangaluru, and a majority of its students are from Kerala. Medical, engineering and other colleges also have a significant number of Kerala students. Challenges in the district are different when compared to other parts of the state, so having district-specific SOPs might help check the spread of infection,” he said.
 



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