182 test COVID-19 positive at Karnataka college after 'Super-Spreader' party
As many as 182 cases of the coronavirus have been reported at a medical college in Dharwad district, Karnataka. The infections went up from 66 a day before. Most of the patients are asymptomatic while the others have mild symptoms. Officials have blamed a recent freshers' party on the campus for the outbreak. Here are more details on this.
Why does it matter?
- The outbreak at the SDM College of Medical Sciences is worrying as most of the cases are "breakthrough infections." This means those who tested positive had received both the doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
- It hence underlines the importance of following health protocols like wearing face masks even after being fully vaccinated.
- Authorities are also checking if a new variant is behind the cluster.
Party held on November 17
The freshers' party at the college was held on November 17. Testing began on Wednesday and by Thursday, test results of 66 students and staff members had returned positive. By Friday, 116 more people tested positive taking the tally to 182, according to Deputy Commissioner of Dharwad, Nitesh Patil. Nearly 1,000 samples have been tested so far.
Patients quarantined on campus; in-person classes halted
All the infected people have been quarantined on the campus and two hostels have been sealed by officials. Offline classes have been suspended until further notice. The college area has been cordoned off and other educational institutions situated near it have been ordered shut. Meanwhile, officials will send some samples for genome sequencing to identify the variant that caused the infections.
3,000 people will be tested
The state health department has decided to test around 3,000 students and staff members at the college and hospital on Friday. "All those who have tested positive will be quarantined for two weeks. The health condition of most are stable," Patil told reporters.
Dharwad contributed 14% of cases in Karnataka
Like much of India, Karnataka has seen a drop in COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks. The state reported just above 300 new cases on Friday and a positivity rate of 0.36%. Dharwad had notably been recording zero positive cases in the last several days. However, on Thursday, it accounted for nearly 14% of total new infections detected across the state.