Hyderabad: Over hundred students at various schools tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday, likely the largest-ever number since the first case was registered in the state last year.
The worst hit was reported from the government-run Minorities Welfare Residential School at Nagole in Hyderabad, where 36 children – one in five students in the school — were found to have contracted the virus.
A day after 12 teachers and two staff at the government school in Mancherial were tested Covid positive, health department officials tested another 174 students, staff and parents and found 29 fresh cases among the children at the school. Nine adults, all parents of different children, also tested positive.
In Kamareddy district, 32 students in a government residential school were found positive for Covid-19.
According to a health department official at the Nagole school, following discovery of the cases, some students complained of body pain and fever on Monday. With no relief in these symptoms on Tuesday, Covid-19 tests were conducted. From the first group of 25 students checked by Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kits, 18 were found Covid-19 positive.
This prompted a school-wide testing of all students and staff – with a total of 165 individuals being tested – of whom 36 were found to have contracted the highly communicable disease, he was quoted saying on a local news channel.
Meanwhile, the Nagole school began informing parents to urgently come to the school. It was only after the parents arrived there that they realised the enormity of the problem. An agitated father said that one of his two girls in the school tested positive while another tested negative.
Several parents who rushed to the school said they were being advised to take their children – who tested negative – home to be kept in isolation. Many parents said that before sending their children to the school, they had their children tested. “Only when we confirmed by test that the children were Covid-19 free, we sent them to school. Now we are being asked to take them back,” a parent said.
According to the health department official, no advice was given to parents to take the children back but some were doing this on their own accord. “All those who tested negative were tested using RT-PCR kits to ensure that no infected individual, whether a staff member or student, is left undetected,” health department officials said.
The RT-PCR test are the most reliable testing method for Covid-19 as RAT kits are considered the world over as highly unreliable and have been recorded to find presence of Covid-19 virus in a person only if the viral load is very high.
The 10 students who were showing symptoms at the school in Nagole have been shifted to the fifth floor of the building while the 26 others were accommodated in other floors and kept under observation....