250 students test positive in a month, sampling stepped up in Punjab

250 students test positive in a month, sampling stepped up in Punjab

A health worker takes swab sample of a teacher in Patiala.

Karam Prakash

Tribune News Service

Patiala, February 19

In the past 30 days, around 250 students and 50 staff members of government schools in the state have tested positive for Covid-19. Owing to the rise in the number of cases, the state health department has directed the civil surgeons to ramp up testing in government schools.

Dr Rajesh Bhasker, state nodal officer, said, “In Ludhiana, one school reported 42 cases. Some clusters of positive cases were reported from Patiala too. We have already scaled up testing and directed the civil surgeons to test school staff regularly.”

As per the sources, practices of wearing of face masks, regular handwashing and maintaining social distancing were being flouted by students and staff. In Patiala, staff members in many schools were seen without masks. Some close contacts of Covid-positive patients continue to hide the information and keep coming to school, thereby, posing risk of spreading the infection. The education department officials said they had asked the school heads to inform them about students and staff members showing Covid symptoms, so that they could be isolated.

Harinder Kaur, District Education Officer, Patiala said, “Not only the teaching cadre, but also the non-teaching staff is being tested. We have been shutting schools, where positive cases are being reported, as a precautionary measure.”

Virkam Dev, a school teacher, said, “We should refrain from blaming teachers or students for not following the guidelines. The government should make efforts to spread awareness because we have already reached the stage of community spread.”

The Tribune found that in the absence of any vigil or issuing of challans by the authorities, people don’t wear masks in public places, including wedding ceremonies. The health officials said people had become complacent about Covid-19 precautions, which had led to the rise in number of cases.

Covid claims another life in Abohar

Abohar: With the death of a 69-year-old resident of old Suraj Nagari on Friday, the number of Covid-19 deaths in the subdivisional town has gone up to 26. The patient was taken to the Civil Hospital after he complained of chest pain on February 9. After testing positive for Covid-19, he was referred to Bathinda hospital where he died on Friday. OC

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