Bhubaneswar: The COVID-19 resurgence on campuses in Odisha began with a false scare at Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology (VSSUT) in Burla last month.
As many as 25 students of the varsity were found infected after undergoing Rapid Antigen tests in the last week of February. The RT-PCR test of these students, however, was found to be negative.
Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Pradipta Mohapatra had then told the media that the VIMSAR authorities found the rapid antigen kits to be defective.
On March 8, Delhi-based kit manufacturing company, Oscar Medicare Pvt Ltd, however, refuted it. To prove its point, the firm conducted a live demo of the kits in the presence of Covid nodal officer of VIMSAR, Burla Sudarshan Pothal and a team of laboratory technicians.
The university had reopened on January 10 adhering to COVID-19 guidelines and students with COVID negative certificates were only allowed to stay in the hostels.
On March 18, 12 students of a private residential college on busy Arunoday Marg in Cuttack city tested positive. A day later, another 12 students and a cook of the instituted were found infected.
On March 28, another educational institution near Madhupatna in Cuttack city saw 17 students testing positive for COVID-19.
March 22 saw Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar (XIMB) reporting 45 new COVID-19 cases. The campus was sealed and sanitized and the infected persons put under isolation.
Earlier on January 9, a day after schools were reopened across Odisha for Class X and XII students, 26 teachers and two students had tested positive for COVID-19 in Gajapati district.
Around 50 students and teachers, including 19 in three schools at Laikera block in Jharsuguda, and three teachers in Sundargarh, were also found infected.
However, the classes continued with strict enforcement of COVID-19 guidelines. In February, the government allowed Class IX and XI students to attend school.
With the rise in cases on the campus now, will the Odisha government announce the closure of the institutions to contain the spread of the virus?