Amid concerns of rising COVID-19 cases in Telangana and in the campus, the Chalmeda Anand Rao Institute of Medical Sciences (CARIMS) in Bommakal village of Karimnagar has decided to close for now. The college declared holidays after 48 students, all of them fully vaccinated, tested positive for the novel coronavirus recently. The hostel facilities in the college are also shut until further notice.CARIMS is a major training-hospital with a 1,000-bed capacity. Besides Karimnagar district, it also caters to the medical needs of neighbouring districts.
According to some students who TNM spoke to, the fresh outbreak of COVID-19 cases in the college came after the annual fest of the college that lasted for two weeks. District Medical and Health Officials too believe that a possible breach of protocol and gatherings could have triggered the fresh cases.
However, officials said that there is nothing to be worried about as all the students who tested positive for the virus have only mild symptoms, and are fully vaccinated. CARIMS hospital officials said that none of the students were admitted following their positive results, all of them have been advised self isolation.
Speaking to TNM, District Medical and Health Officer (DMHO) Dr Juveria said that initially 40 cases were detected, after samples of 200 students were tested. All of them have mild symptoms. Dr Juveria said, "We have visited the college and taken note of the situation; parents have taken their children home including those who were tested. None of the students who tested positive have any serious problems. All are mild cases as all the students have completed their vaccination owing to the college rules."
The DMHO added, “The college has announced holidays for the students taking the situation into consideration. All the contacts of the students who tested positive for the virus have been traced and given COVID-19 instructions accordingly.”
Earlier in November, Hyderabad-based Mahindra University which has over 1,700 students was placed under lockdown as 25 students and five staff members tested positive for the COVID-19. According to versity officials, all students and staff were fully vaccinated. In the same week, an alarming rise in COVID-19 cases was reported at the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule BC Welfare Residential School at Muthangi village in Sangareddy district where 47 students and one staff member contracted the virus.
The state Public Health and Family Welfare department has issued a COVID-19 advisory in the wake of rising cases and concerns of Omicron variant of the virus. People without full vaccination have been advised not to venture into public places. A fine of Rs 1,000 will be imposed for not wearing masks and violating COVID-19 rules.