26 teachers, 2 students test positive for COVID-19 in Gajapati
Bhubaneswar: As many as 26 teachers and two students have tested positive for COVID-19 in Gajapati district after the reopening of schools, prompting the administration to send a senior officer to the district on Saturday to take stock of the situation.
Though the development has sparked fears across the State, the administration has urged everyone not to panic as their samples were tested before the reopening of schools on Friday.
“There are 26 teachers and two students among the 31 persons who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Gajapati district in the last two days,” Chief District Medical Officer P K Patra said.
A senior official of the School and Mass Education department, however, said the detection of COVID-19 cases among students and teachers has nothing to do with the reopening of schools for students of Classes 10 and 12.
“All these tests were conducted before the reopening of schools on January 8. The department had instructed school authorities to conduct COVID-19 tests of students and teachers if they exhibit symptoms,” the official said.
No school in the State has ordered COVID-19 tests within two days, he said, adding S&ME Secretary Satyabrata Sahoo has asked senior officials to visit all the districts to oversee the situation.
The Gajapati CDMO said the fresh infections might have come from the migratory population from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. The S&ME department said that all schools are being regularly sanitised.
The official of the department said the teachers and students, who have tested positive for the infection, will not be allowed to enter the schools and will remain in home or institutional quarantine as per the standard operating procedure.
The officer deputed to Gajapati will also ascertain whether the infected teachers and students had visited their schools in the last two days, he said.