Virus fear returns as teachers and students test positive for Covid-19 in Odisha

A number of teachers, staff and students infected in Sundargarh and Jharsuguda districts

Published: 14th January 2021 08:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th January 2021 08:13 AM   |  A+A-

For representational purposes

By Express News Service

JHARSUGUDA/ROURKELA: Just five days after high schools across the State reopened for the first time since March last year, a number of teachers, staff and students have tested positive for Covid-19 in the two neighbouring districts of Sundargarh and Jharsuguda.

In Jharsuguda, at least 19 students in Laikera block have tested positive since schools reopened on January 8. Of the students who tested positive, nine belong to JO High School, Sahaspur, eight are from Hemsagar High School, Pakelkhol and two from KBK High School, Saletikra. 

All the infected students have been kept under home isolation and provided necessary medicines, informed Laikera block education officer Pradipta Sah.District education officer Kalpana Panda said after the high schools reopened in Jharsuguda, a total of 775 students underwent Covid test and 19 were found to be positive on Tuesday. It is unlikely that the infection will spread as all the students were wearing masks and maintaining social distance during classes, she added.

Additional district medical officer, Jharsuguda Dolamani Patel said the Health department has been put on high alert to curb the spread of coronavirus among students in schools.In Sundargarh, three teachers, a clerk and a student have tested Covid-19 positive. On Wednesday, Rapid Antigen test was conducted on students of a high school in Raiboga panchayat of Kuanrmunda block. One student tested positive and was sent to home isolation with medicines.

Kuanrmunda block education officer (BEO) Sadananda Pradhan said the school premises will be sanitised again and classes would continue. Though it has created a sense of fear among parents and other students, school authorities said there was nothing to be afraid of as social distancing was maintained along with mask use during classes.  

Besides, a lady teacher of a government school at Sector-6 also tested positive on Tuesday. Two other lady teachers of elementary classes of the same school had been found infected four days back. Similarly, a clerk of a government school in Hemgir block has also tested positive.  

District education officer (DEO) Pramod Sarangi said he is yet to get any report on the student. Two classrooms attended by the infected lady teacher have been closed from Wednesday till Monday. All Covid safety protocols are in place and there is nothing to worry, he added.

Meanwhile, 11,030 doses of Covishield vaccine are scheduled to arrive in Sundargarh by Wednesday night. Chief district medical officer Dr SK Mishra said a special van carrying the vaccine doses is on way and likely to reach the Regional Storage Centre in Sundargarh town in the night. Around 16,100 health personnel have registered themselves for the first phase vaccination in the district.  

The vaccination programme would kick off on January 16 and a total of 100 doses would be given on the first day. Vaccination of all health personnel is likely to be completed in two to three weeks, Mishra added.

Cause of concern

3 teachers, clerk and a student found Covid-19 positive in Sundargarh district
19 students in Laikera block of Jharsuguda infected  
Infected students kept under home isolation 
High schools reopened in the State on January 8



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