People travelling from Kerala, the epicentre of Covid-19 in the country, have now become a source of a fresh wave of infections across several states, especially the neighbouring states such as Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
According to the reports, as many as 65 students from Kerala have tested positive for Covid-19 in a nursing college in Kolar, Karnataka, creating panic in the city about a possible wave of infections in the state, which has so far successfully contained the Covid-19 pandemic.
Karnataka: 32 students tested positive for COVID19 in a college in Kolar; visuals from the college— ANI (@ANI) September 1, 2021
“All of them are Kerala returnees. I’ll visit the college & take action against the management,” says Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar pic.twitter.com/ncwInvdVMd
Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said that the students who have been tested positive for Covid-19 in a college in Kolar were all returnees from Kerala. The minister said that he would visit the college and take action against the management.
The district administration tested 265 students and staff from the nursing college from August 24 to August 30. As a few Kerala returnees tested positive for Covid-19, the administration decided to test everyone in all nursing colleges. So far, 165 nursing students studying at Noorunisa Institute of Nursing in Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) have been tested positive for Covid-19.
“15 more tested positive on August 28; 15 more on August 29 and finally 32 on August 30. All are from Kerala. We have sent a show-cause notice to the college on Monday and are awaiting their reply. They all had negative certificates. We are trying to ascertain the veracity of the certificates by scanning the QR code on them to check whether they’re fake,” Kolar in-charge district surveillance officer Dr Chandan said.
Reportedly, the college bus had transported 146 students from Kerala to the KGF college on August 18. The students were put in quarantine ever since they arrived. However, they developed symptoms during the quarantine period and were tested on August 23.
As per Dr Chandan, the returnees from Kerala did not travel by any other form of transport and also arrived in a single group. “So, we suspect one of them spread to others,” the officer added.
The officer did not rule out the possibility of more of them testing positive after the incubation period of the virus.
The health authorities have converted the college into a containment zone. The officer said that two hundred are in quarantine on the campus, 65 are in Covid Care Centres.
Gujarat to screen Kerala travelers, check-up mandatory
Amidst fears over Kerala exporting Covid-19 infections to the rest of the country, several state governments have begun taking precautionary steps to contain the pandemic and have decided to enforce strict rules to check infectious persons travelling from Kerala.
As Covid-19 continues to soar in Left-ruled Kerala, the Gujarat government had earlier decided to enforce strict rules against people arriving from the state. The state government had made it mandatory for all the people arriving from Kerala to undergo a thorough check-up for coronavirus symptoms before entering Gujarat.
Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, who is also the health minister, said that if a person is found to have symptoms, she or he will be quarantined as per the Union government’s protocol. The Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister also said the government had directed the health department to ensure check-up of all people coming from Kerala for coronavirus symptoms.
He had also asked officials to find out why there is a surge in infections in Kerala despite a high vaccination rate.
Kerala – the epicenter of the Covid-19 infections
Kerala is one of the two biggest epicentres of Covid-19 infections in the country, along with Maharashtra. In fact, Kerala remains the worst Covid-19 affected state in the country and continues to burden the country’s efforts in tackling the second wave of the pandemic even as other states have successfully reduced fresh Covid-19 cases.
For over a week now, Kerala has recorded close to 30,000 fresh coronavirus cases, along with over 200 deaths and a test positive rate above 19 per cent. With only 3 per cent of India’s population, Kerala now accounts for almost 70 per cent of all new Covid-19 cases. It ranks top in the daily number of deaths. The nationwide test positive rate is 2.4 per cent, while in Kerala, it is over 19 per cent.
In the last 24 hours, Kerala has reported 30,203 new cases and 115 deaths. With this, the total active Covid cases have now gone up to 2,18,921.
With Kerala reporting more than 30,000 cases every day on an average over the last two weeks, the total tally of Covid-19 cases in the state now stands at 40,57,233, the second-highest in the country after Maharashtra.
Kerala has recorded on an average 150 deaths due to Covid-19 in the last two weeks, taking the related death toll in the state to 20,788.