The Udupi district administration in Karnataka said that it had recorded 12 more cases of COVID-19 among students and their contacts in Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) on Friday. MIT is an engineering college located in Manipal in the district. With this, the district administration said that since March 10, 110 COVID-19 cases have been detected among the students and their contacts outside the institution.
The MIT campus area was notified as a containment zone late on Wednesday evening and the health department is carrying out surveillance and contact tracing efforts inside the campus.
"We have detected a high positivity rate among the tests conducted on students and their contacts. The MIT campus area is a containment zone. We will continue tracing the contacts and step up surveillance to contain the spread. All the contacts of positive cases will be quarantined and tested,” Prashant Bhat, nodal officer for COVID-19 in Udupi, told TNM.
He added a total of 750 tests were carried out among the students and their contacts, yielding a positivity rate of 14.6%.
On Thursday evening, confusion reigned at the entrance to MIT campus near the Venugopal Temple in Manipal when a number of students asked the security guards to allow them to leave the campus. The students carried their bags and told the security guard that they were traveling to the railway station or the airport to leave the town.
A student told TNM that the institute had given advance notice to students that if they intended to leave they had to produce a negative COVID-19 certificate. Eventually, a number of students left the town on Thursday and Friday.
Narayana Sabhahit, Registrar, Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) told TNM that they are co-operating with the district authorities.
“We have allowed those students who had a negative COVID-19 test report to go home following directions from the district authorities. Those who wish to stay on campus can continue to do so,” he added.