At least three post-graduate (PG) students at the Osmania Medical College (OMC) in Hyderabad have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, sparking fears among residents of the hostel about the spread of COVID-19 on campus. They were tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on Saturday.
According to sources, among the three students is a first-year PG student from gynaecology department who shares a room with two others and was also doing medical duty at the Government Maternity Hospital in Petlaburj. The other two who tested positive are final year PG students from the general surgery and orthopaedics branches.
While the roommates of the first-year student have been tested (results awaited), authorities have begun tracing all those she may have come in contact with at the hostel as well as her colleagues during duty. Samples of some of the high-risk contacts of the three students, too, have been sent for testing.
Meanwhile, all three students have been shifted to the Gandhi Hospital and King Koti Hospital for treatment.
â€˜We are scaredâ€™
Speaking to TNM, a student from the medical college said, "We are scared because we are at risk. Many are in a state of panic. They disinfected the hostels where the student was staying but we are receiving non-stop calls from our families."
"Many of us were moving around together, eating in the mess together and preparing for upcoming exams. We will get a clear picture of how much the virus has spread amongst us only after tests are conducted," the students added.
Many of the students also said that given the latest developments, their upcoming final exams, which is scheduled for the last week of June, should be postponed.
A representative of the Telangana Junior Doctors Association (TJUDA) demanded that the exams should be postponed as the students are under intense stress. "Several students sit in an exam hall. Even if one person tests positive there, it will spread rapidly. Students are scared and are not in the right state of mind to write exams. They must be postponed," he told TNM.
According to reports, Osmania Medical College Principal Dr Shashikala said that the exams are scheduled as per orders issued by the Medical Council of India (MCI) and a decision on whether to close down the hostel will be taken soon.