Days after 192 Class 10 students from two schools in Kerala’s Malappuram tested positive for COVID-19, a district education officer has said that 91 attended a common tuition centre.
“91 students, of the 192 who tested positive, were attending one tuition centre. This has been sealed by the police for now. Other students attending these classes have been asked to stay in home isolation and are being tested,” Ramesh Kumar, the education officer, told NDTV.
Mr Kumar said a third school, close to the above two, had also been closed for now as a precautionary move.
Dr K Sakeena, the district medical officer, said the students who attended the tuition centre will be tested today.
“We cannot give the numbers – how many students who have already tested positive had links to the tuition centre. Some cases have been reported, and all the students there will be tested as part of overall testing,” she said.
Dr Sakeena also said around 2,000 people from areas in and around the students and teachers’ homes are also being tested. This number includes parents and others who would normally be part of the contact tracing list.
Mass testing for students of the two schools began after a student and a teacher – one from each school – reported COVID-19 symptoms.
“It was just one student who reported positive first.. and, in another school, a teacher tested positive. We did mass testing on a precautionary basis to check for any possible spread. Over 600 were tested, of which 192 were positive. Most were asymptomatic,” Mr Kumar explained.
Of the students who tested positive, 149 were from one school and 43 were from the other. Of the staff including teachers, 39 were from one school and 33 from the other.
At this time the source of infection among the students has not been traced to a common cluster, and contact tracing and testing is still underway, a medical official said.