COVID Scare In Odisha: Is It Time To Move Classes Online Again? Campuses In Bhubaneswar, Cuttack Tread Cautiously

Bhubaneswar: At least 44 students of National Law University Odisha (NLUO) in Cuttack city tested COVID-19 positive on Wednesday.

A week ago, 27 students of Udaynath Autonomous College of Science and Technology at Adaspur in Cuttack district tested positive.

As COVID-19 cases surge in Odisha and some campuses reporting cluster outbreaks, educational institutions in the twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack are treading cautiously.

COVID-appropriate behaviour like wearing of mask and use of sanitisers is back on campuses. Most institutions are, however, yet to take a call on whether to move classes online or continue in offline mode, awaiting orders from the state government.

Not waiting for government orders, KIIT University in Bhubaneswar in Khurda, the district that is now a COVID-19 red zone reporting the highest number of daily cases in the state, on Wednesday shifted classes online, a TNIE report said.

A decision on resuming physical classes will be taken only after the district returns to the green zone, the report said.

XIMB, where all PG students are lodged in hostels, has made an RT-PCR negative test report mandatory for all students entering the campus, the TNIE report said.

“Even with an RT-PCR negative report, any student suffering from cold and cough is being isolated for a minimum of four days,” the report quoted an XIMB official as saying.

So far no COVID case has been detected on the campus.

Utkal University Vice-Chancellor Sabita Acharya told TNIE that the Higher Education department was yet to issue directions on shifting classes online. University authorities have, however, enforced COVID-appropriate behaviour on the campus.

Schools too are awaiting orders from the School and Mass Education department on whether to continue in offline mode or move classes online. For now, classes are continuing in offline mode but attendance in many schools have dipped by up to 30 per cent with children having cold, cough and fever asked to stay home.

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