President Ram Nath Kovind presented the National Florence Nightingale Award 2020 to 51 nurses across the country.
The infected nursing students are part of a group of over 30 students who came to Hassan to appear for nursing exams recently.
The Nursing Superintendent of the hospital had on Saturday issued a circular asking its nursing staff not to use Malayalam at work as "maximum patients and colleagues do not know this language".
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At a time Kerala is reeling under the grip of fever, the 16-day-old nurses strike has led to a face-off between the private hospital managements and the protesting unions.
The United Nurses Association (UNA), who have been on protest for about a month, has decided to go on an indefinite strike in the state from July 17.