The Dakshina Kannada district administration in Karnataka on Thursday, January 13, introduced new surveillance measures for students from Kerala who are returning to colleges in the district. This comes after a high number of COVID-19 cases was reported among students in the district.
A notification issued by the Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner's office stated that students returning from Kerala need to carry a negative RT-PCR certificate not older than 72 hours. The students should also be in isolation for seven days and undergo a fresh RT-PCR test on the eighth day after their return. The fresh guidelines were specified for students studying in engineering, medical and para-medical colleges in Dakshina Kannada district.
Dr Kishore Kumar, the district health officer, said that the decision was taken after a high number of COVID-19 cases were observed among students, in particular, students from Kerala who are studying in the district.
"Out of 486 students who tested positive in the last two weeks, 196 were from Kerala, 127 were from our district and the rest from other places. Most of the students are asymptomatic," Dr Kishore said. He added that the reason for this was likely down to students mingling with each other in close quarters in educational institutes and in hostels.
Dakshina Kannada district shares a state border with Kerala's Kasaragod district. The border at Talapady in Kasargod is 20-25 km south of Mangaluru city. According to the district health officer, a significant number of students studying in Dakshina Kannada colleges are from Kerala.
An average of 11,000 COVID-19 tests are conducted every day in Dakshina Kannada district. Meanwhile, Karnataka recorded a total of 21,390 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, January 13, and the Test Positivity Rate (TPR) increased to 10.96%. Test Positivity Rate is the number of positive cases recorded for every 100 tests conducted. Bengaluruâ€™s daily count of COVID-19 cases further increased to 15,617 on Wednesday, January 12, taking the total number of active cases in the city to 73,654. The positivity rate in the city reached 15.96%.