In a COVID-19 cluster formed by the students and teachers of two schools in Malappuram district of Kerala, 180 more have been tested positive for the novel coronavirus. This includes students, teachers and non-teaching staff of the Government Higher Secondary Schools of Vanneri and Marancheri in the district.
However there is no clarity on the break-up of how many students and teachers are infected. Over 40 people who had come in contact with the students and teachers also tested positive, Deputy District Medical Officer Malappuram Dr Mohammed Ismail told TNM. A total 187 students and 75 teachers and other staff of the both the two schools had been tested positive on February 8.
All those who have been infected with the virus have been under home care as they have mild symptoms only. "Some of them are asymptomatic while some have mild symptoms only. Also none of them have comorbidities and hence all of them are under home care," the deputy DMO told TNM.
The cluster was identified after a teacher and student of each of the schools had tested positive first. Holidays have been declared in the two schools after the cases were reported. Schools in Kerala reopened in January for classes 10 and 12 for limited hours to clarify doubts as the board exams for the students will be held in a month.
The Indian Medical Association, however, has urged the government not to reopen the schools in the academic year and to shut them down after conducting examinations in the backdrop of the COVID-19 cases are still high in Kerala.
5471 COVID-19 cases were reported in the state on Saturday. Recently 82 people who returned from the UK were tested positive for the virus. However no such case was reported on Saturday.