Surveillance in schools and colleges stepped up

The Health Department has stepped up surveillance in schools and colleges in the wake of sporadic cases of COVID-19 infection among students and teachers.

According to informed sources, at least 18 cases were reported in 17 schools and colleges in the district since the reopening of schools for senior grade students and colleges on September 1. Out of 18 patients reported positive for the infections, 14 were school students and 4 were college students.

At least one positive case was reported in 13 schools. At a school in Lalgudi two students were tested positive. Most of the schools, where fresh cases of COVID-19 had been reported, were in Tiruchi city.

While some of the affected schools in the city were shut for a few days so as to carry out disinfecting measures on their campuses, others continued to function by disinfecting the classrooms, where the affected students studied.

As per the arrangement, the Health Department deputes teams to the affected schools to collect swab samples for testing. It also collects samples from those down with fever, cough and cold. Based on the results, the health officials intensify testing, treatment and preventive measures.

A senior official of the Health Department told The Hindu that though fresh cases had been reported among the students here and there, there were no reasons for worry. Except one or two, most of the samples had been turning out to be negative. However, surveillance measures had been stepped up.

He said that the schools and colleges had been asked to strictly follow the guidelines on COVID-19 preventive measures. Surprise inspections were being conducted. If three or more students in a school were found to be affected with COVID-19 it would be closed with immediate effect.

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