About 42 students and staff of a government high school in the Mancherial district of Telangana have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. District Health Department officials say 28 people tested positive on Tuesday at the Zilla Parishad Girls High School, out of the 120 who were tested. Fourteen people had tested positive on Monday.
The district administration has shut down the school for the next three days and will be carrying out more tests. S Venkateshwarulu the District Health Officer for Mancherial told TNM that about 11 of those who tested positive on Monday were teachers from the school, a sanitation staff and a girl from class 10.
On Tuesday, officials found that about 19 students from class 10, about 18 students from class 9 and one student from class 8 in the Macherial government school have tested positive. “A biology teacher from the school was the first person to get tested positive at the school, her husband is a TSRTC driver. All those who have tested positive are in isolation. All the cases reported so far are asymptomatic,” said Venkateshwarulu.
The girl’s school has about 700 students enrolled and on average, about 450 students attend the school daily, “Almost all the children are from surrounding villages and slums. There are no English medium schools in that area so a lot of children from nearby villages attend the school,” said the official, adding that most of the students reach the school using auto rickshaws and public transport buses. “We can’t say how far it will spread. At the institution level, we are doing everything we can and taking precautions, but it’s up to the public to follow the COVID-19 guidelines.”
The officer said that contact tracing efforts are ongoing. The school will be granted three days’ leave and district administration will sanitise the building. “The rest of the students can come once classes restart,” he added.
Schools for classes 9 to 10 were reopened on February 1 and for classes 6 to 8 were reopened on February 24 in the state.
After a gap of more than one-and-half months, the active COVID-19 cases in Telangana has crossed 2,000. The state reported 204 new cases during the last 24 hours while 170 people recovered from the virus during the period, health officials said on Tuesday. The active cases jumped to 2,015. The number had dropped below the 2,000-mark on February 4.