Three new COVID-19 clusters, all in the Yelahanka zone, with a total of 19 positive cases were detected in Bengaluru on Friday. This takes the overall number of such groups to six over the past two weeks.
Two of the clusters were detected in educational institutions: five cases at Agragami College and nine students tested positive at Sambhram Academy of Management Studies. The third one, with five cases, is in a residential complex, Purva Venezia apartments.
BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad said the detection of new cases was the result of elaborate testing taken up across educational institutions where students from neighbouring states, especially Kerala and Maharashtra, study. Testing has been intensified, especially in nursing colleges, where most of the students hail from Kerala. As per conservative estimates, there were nearly 18,000 nursing students in different colleges in the city.
In the last three days, as many as 1,156 students were tested at Sambhram Academy of Management Studies, of whom nine were found to have contracted COVID-19. Similarly, at Agragami College, of the 217 students who were tested, five were reported to have COVID-19.
BBMP’s Special Commissioner (Health) Rajendra Cholan said another cluster had been reported at Purva Venezia apartments. A total of 111 residents were tested of whom five were positive. “As per investigations, on the source of the infection, we believe it spread from a family who had travelled from Mumbai to the city,” he said.
According to Mr. Prasad, though some students from the neighbouring States had come to the city with a COVID-19 negative report, they tested positive a few days later. “If more than five cases are reported from one location, it is termed as a cluster. The cases in the other three clusters have not increased,” he said.
The city’s first cluster was reported on February 13 at Manjushree College of Nursing in Kaval Byrasandra, where 40 students tested positive just days after the college reopened. In the second cluster at SNN Raj Lakeview, an apartment complex in Bilekahalli, a total of 108 residents tested positive. Another cluster was reported at SJR Watermark Apartment at Ambalipura, where 27 residents tested positive for COVID-19.