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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Educational institutes seemed to have become fresh victims of resurgence in Covid-19 in Odisha just weeks after resumption in physical classes in schools and colleges across the State. 

The State Health department on Tuesday informed that as many as 53 students of Saint Mary's Girls’ High School in Sundargarh district and at least 31 medical students of Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR) in Burla have tested positive for Covid-19.

As per reports, most of the students testing positive for the viral disease have either mild or no symptoms.

Under such circumstances, top health officials of the State have cautioned people not to lower guards and adhere to all the Covid appropriate behaviors strictly to keep the spread of the infection in check.

“Covid-19 vaccinated people in Odisha are showing less amount of symptoms post vaccination. Now, the symptoms of the pandemic are changing. People suffering with more than normal cold and fever should get themselves tested immediately,” said Directorate of Medical Education & Training (DMET) chief Rama Raman Mohanty.

State Public Health Director Bijay Mohapatra said, if people become complacent and throw Covid-19 imposed restrictions to the wind, strong measures will be taken again for the strict containment of the disease.

Mohapatra also urged students exhibiting symptoms not to attend the schools and colleges. 
“The State administration and the health department are fully aware about the couple of outbreaks in various educational institutions. We are fully ready to meet any kind of situation,” said Mohapatra.

Assessing the situation, Sundargarh Collector Nikhil Pavan Kalyan also assured that schools where cases have been detected will be sanitised and contact tracing of the students will be conducted properly to check the further spread of Covid-19. 

On the sudden outbreak of the positive cases in Saint Mary's Girls’ High School in Sundargarh, Sister Petrecia, Principal of the institution said, “Covid test of the students were conducted after some of them showed symptoms of cold and cough. Instructions have already been issued for the closure of the educational institution for a week as per the protocol.”

“We are also conducting the contact tracing of other students,” said Petrecia.

Meanwhile, Covid affected students in VIMSAR are being treated in special isolation wards. The students have also been directed not to go outside the hostel.

“All the offline classes have been cancelled. We will run online classes and the examinations will also be conducted via online,” said VIMSAR Dean Jayashree Dora.

“We have also requested the administration to declare the hostels as micro containment zones,” she added.

(Edited by Suryakant Jena)

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