Students’ safety is the priority

Bangalore BBMP Covid-19 Health Karnataka

More students are attending offline classes after schools and colleges began RT-PCR tests.

Parents are willing to send their wards to schools and colleges after administrations  decided to conduct a Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction test (RT-PCR) once a week.

A Public Relations Officer (PRO) of a school in Kumbalgodu said, “We are conducting RT-PCR tests of the students once a week, to prevent the spread of Covid-19.” She added, “The RT-PCR is done by the BGS Global Institute of Medical Sciences and we charge zero money from the students. Till now, zero positive cases are found and the administrative body makes sure the students follow the Covid protocols ordered by the government. Regular sanitization takes place to keep the premises sanitized. Maintaining all protocols has led to an increase in the number of students on the campus.”

 After the Karnataka Government ordered to re-open schools and colleges, parents were unwilling to send their wards back to the campus which led to a decrease in students attending the classes offline.

Vivekananda Institute of Technology College at Kengeri, Principal, Chandrasekhar said, “The college has organized a vaccination camp for the students, faculties, and staff with the help of the Primary Health Center (PHC) located at K.Gollahalli. The first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine has been given to the students, faculty, and staff. The college students will return to the campus from October 1, so the college authority has decided to conduct RT-PCR for the students and the rest of them. And in the coming week they will organize a vaccination drive to give the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to the students, the faculty, and the staff.” He added that during the last offline classes, one faculty member had been found Covid positive, thanks to the regular tests being held. The college immediately isolated him.

“RT-PCR is not the only measure to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. It’s still important to maintain safety measures. RT-PCR could help in preventing asymptomatic cases. Testing once in a week would be very useful to reduce the Covid-19 cases,” said Kiranmaye Murlidhar who is a researcher at Public Health Research Institute of India.

Almost 10 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine were administered in Bangalore since January 16, 2021. In June BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta started the vaccination drive. The Karnataka government passed an order that demanded that everyone entering an educational institute should have had at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccination.

 According to BBMP data, the number of RT-PCR tests done from September 21 to September 26 is 367,549 which is 13,426 more than the number of RT-PCR tests done from September 14 to September 20, despite Covid-19 cases going down. As Covid-19 cases are going down, the educational institutes are re-opening and students are returning to classes and labs.

IIM Bangalore is also performing RT-PCR once a week through their medical center on their campus.