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BENGALURU: While the health and education departments are locked in a tussle on the issue of keeping schools and colleges open in the wake of a second wave of Covid-19 infections, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) data on containment zones is an eye-opener.
Of the containment zones in BBMP limits in the past fortnight, 10 were educational institutions. Also, by Tuesday evening, the number of infected school and college students had risen to 89 from 82 on Monday.
Sources say educational institutions listed under containment zones include, high schools, polytechnic colleges, hostels, nursing colleges and first grade colleges. The highest number of positive cases were reported in Arya Eediga Girls Hostel (15 cases) in west zone and a BBMP high school (9) in east zone.
A senior health official said, “It’s impossible to prevent the spread if schools and colleges are open. You can’t expect students to follow Covid-19 rules. The government needs to rethink whether on-campus classes should be allowed.”
At a recent meeting, the Covid-19 technical advisory committee had suggested scrapping regular classes. The committee said in a statement, “Except 10th and 12th standards, semester and final year students of higher education, other offline classes shall be suspended. Colleges including higher education shall be in online mode except for health sciences.”
N Manjunatha Prasad, commissioner, BBMP, said the Palike will conduct Covid tests in schools and colleges. “A meeting was held on Monday and we decided to conduct tests in schools, colleges, markets, hotels, bus stands, railway stations, wedding halls/functions, cinema theatres, malls and religious places,” he said. “Our strategy is to conduct as many tests as possible.”
Dr H Sudarshan Ballal, chairman, Manipal Hospitals, said, “This is truly a grave concern. Covid-19 appropriate behaviour is being ignored. We are seeing a lot of younger people getting infected. The government must take stringent action and vigorously implement masking, distancing and avoidance of large crowds.”


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