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Vikash Sharma

As many as 31 students at the National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Bhubaneswar have tested positive for Covid-19, informed the Khorda district administration officials on Tuesday.

As per initial reports, most of the infected students are from outside Odisha and all of them have been asked to remain in isolation at hostels in the institute campus.

Khordha district administration officials said that the condition of the students is stable. Containment zone restrictions have been clamped in the campus as per protocol and adequate measures will be taken for the Covid-19 test of other students and staff at the institute.

It is pertinent to mention here that Odisha registered a steep rise in Covid-19 infections after 680 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours. Monday’s daily case load is the highest single-day count registered in the last three months in Odisha.

Meanwhile, in view of the sudden spurt in the Covid-19 cases, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is scheduled to take a review meeting later in the day. The CM is likely to deliberate on the State’s preparedness to tackle the emerging danger with senior health and administrative officials.

Sources said the government may declare some additional restrictions, in addition to the night curfew and present pandemic guidelines.

Meanwhile, authorities at NISER said that students of 2020 batch had reached the campus from different parts of the country from December 25, 2021 onwards to join offline classes. “All the students were kept in isolation for seven days and underwent Covid test on December 30 and 31. So far 31 students have tested positive and all of them have been kept in hostel isolation,” said a NISER official.

Senior institute officials said that Covid test of anothert 93 students will be conducted on January 6 and those testing positive will undergo mandatory isolation as per protocol. Sources said that physical mode of teaching is schedule to resume at NISER from January 10, 2022.

The authorities assured that all appropriate measures have been taken to ensure a safe environment to the students and other staff at the institute.

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