DHENKANAL: In yet another cluster outbreak of Covid-19 cases in an educational institution of Odisha, 56 students of a private residential college at Kunjakanta in the district have tested positive for the virus. Shockingly, the infected students have been allowed to go home to their parents instead of being put in isolation on the college premises, raising fears of the spread of infection.
Adding to Wednesday’s tally of 33, 19 more Covid cases were detected among the students of Sai Krupa Residential College on Thursday. Last week, four students had tested positive for the virus. Chief district medical officer (CDMO) Sujatarani Mishra said around 270 samples were collected from students for test of which 56 tested positive. The affected students were advised to stay in isolation under medical supervision.
After it was found that the infected students were allowed to go home, the administration initiated action against the college authorities. On the day, executive officer of Dhenkanal municipality Atanu Samanta lodged an FIR with Town police against the owner and principal of the college for violating Covid-19 protocol. A show cause was also issued to the college authorities as to why the infected students were allowed to leave the institute without informing the district administration.
Samanta said as per guidelines, the Covid positive students should have been kept in isolation in the residential college under medical supervision to contain the spread of the disease. “Despite strict instructions, the college management allowed the students to leave the hostels. During inspection, we also found that the college authorities were not following Covid-19 guidelines issued by the State government,” he informed.
Meanwhile, the college and its three hostels have been sealed for 10 days. “We have also declared the college premises as micro containment zone till December 10. The college building and the hostels have been sanitised,” Samanta added. Dhenkanal Collector Saroj Kumar Sethy, who is closely monitoring the situation, said contact tracing of the infected students is underway.
Earlier, cluster outbreak of Covid-19 cases was reported from two educational institutions - St Mary’s Girls High School in Sundargarh town and Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR), Burla in Sambalpur.
FIR against owner and principal of college for Covid protocol violation
Show cause issued to college authorities for allowing infected students to leave institute
College and three hostels sealed for 10 days
Institute premises declared micro containment zone till December 10