HUBBALLI: The Dharwad district administration has declared a holiday for schools, anganwadis and colleges that are located within a 500-metre radius of the SDM Medical College after the total numbers of those testing positive for Covid-19 reached 182 on Friday.
In the last three days, about 1,000 tests have been conducted and on Friday 116 new cases from the same cluster were added to the previous tally of 66 cases. It began post-November 14, when the students, parents and staff of SDM Medical College took part in a Fresher's Day function held at the function hall in the campus.
Three days later, some of the students showed mild symptoms of Covid-19 after which the college authorities decided to go in for tests.
On the first day, 23 Covid-19 cases were reported among those who had attended the function. On the second day, the number climbed to 66 and by Friday afternoon, a total of 182 students, doctors and paramedical staff had been found to have Covid-19.
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The Dharwad DC Nitesh Patil said that the visitors' entry into the hospital has been restricted after the outbreak and also the numbers of attenders has been reduced.
"In the next two days, we shall have a clear picture about the numbers of cases as 2,000 odd staff and students are yet to be tested who are living in SDM medical college campus. We have to ensure that the other patients who are undergoing treatment in the hospital are safe. We have also directed the hospital authorities to avoid regular patients and attend only emergency cases for the time being," he said.
The officer said that so far only one day of holiday has been declared to educational institutions that are located around the SDM Medical College. "Depending on the need, a new announcement will be made by Monday," Patil added.
The administration has also sent out a media advisory for all those who have attended functions at SDM Medical College function hall.
"Two functions, including a marriage were conducted at the same hall in the last one week. The administration of the college has said that sanitisation of the function hall is done every time after the programme. We have requested the attendees of those functions to come forward and get their Covid-19 tests done," he said.
In the last three days close to 1,500 tests, have been conducted and the majority of them are from SDM Medical College. The administration is utilising the testing facilities at KIMS hospital in Hubballi, SDM Medical College and DIMHANS in Dharwad.