COVID-19 now spreading from schools, cinema halls, says DHO


School, college, hostel authorities have to ensure students follow rules, wear masks and not move in groups

The case of 18 children of a government school in Bannur town of T.Narsipur taluk testing positive to COVID-19 has become a cause for concern with the health authorities claiming that the pandemic was spreading from schools, colleges, cinema halls and large wedding events because of staying indoor for long hours and not adhering to social distancing norms.

Mysuru District Health Officer T. Amarnath on Wednesday told a meeting of the Zilla Panchayat that COVID-19 cases had been on the rise and the infection was spreading from schools, colleges and theatres because of the closed environment.

The cinema halls had been permitted to run shows to full capacity, after the curbs were lifted following drop in the infection rate. Now, the positivity rate is peaking, worrying the authorities who are fearing faster spread of the pandemic.

Dr. Amarnath said 78 people who were traced as contacts of the 18 infected children had also tested positive. A decision on sealing the school or isolating it would be taken after consultations with the Deputy Commissioner.

Replying to questions from the ZP health committee, the DHO said there have been reports of school and college students not wearing masks besides hostel inmates not taking enough precautions, and moving in groups without maintaining social distance. The complaints in this regard had been received and the hostels were visited cautioning the authorities to ensure proper enforcement of the rules, he said, adding that RT-PCR negative report is a must for the inmates who return to hostels after visiting their homes.

Instead of organising weddings indoors in closed setting, outdoor arrangements would help besides strict wearing of masks and maintaining social distance, he advised.

After reaching the 100-mark cases on Tuesday, the highest so far in the last four months, there was a moderate drop in cases with 74 testing positive on Wednesday. They include 52 contacts of the infected persons, 17 ILI cases and five SARI cases. Two deaths had been reported on Wednesday, taking the number of dead to 1,044.

In response to the norm of โ€œtest, trace and treatโ€, the health authorities here have stepped up testing and the number of swab tests, according to sources, has crossed 5,000 daily. This may go up further and reach 6,000 with more number of bulk swab tests done using the mobile units.

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