BALASORE/BARIPADA/BERHAMPUR: In yet another cluster outbreak of Covid-19 cases, 30 MBBS students of Fakir (*43*) Medical College and Hospital (FM MCH) in Balasore tested positive on Thursday. With the new cases, the total number of infected students in FM MCH reached 43. On Tuesday, 13 students had tested positive for Covid.
Sources said 13 students residing in the college hostel developed symptoms such as fever, cough and cold five days back following which their RT-PCR test was conducted on Monday. After their report came positive, health officials carried out contact tracing and RT-PCR test of 220 students and 10 doctors. On Thursday, reports of 30 students and two doctors came positive.
Principal Prof Ram Chandra Giri said all the infected students and doctors have been isolated in separate rooms and their treatment is underway. It is suspected that the students and doctors might have contracted the infection after coming in contact with a Covid patient. Further contact tracing is underway and efforts are on to contain the virus spread.
The district administration has declared the hostel of the MCH as a containment zone for seven days.
Meanwhile, four staff of the regional diagnostic centre in Pandit Raghunath Murmu MCH at Baripada in Mayurbhanj district have tested positive for Covid-19. They tested positive three days back and are in home isolation.
In the last 24 hours, 423 fresh Covid cases were reported from Mayurbhanj district. Balasore reported 278 new infections during the period. Similarly, Ganjam reported 154 positive cases in the last 24 hours, the highest single-day spike in the district during the third Covid wave so far.
In view of the case surge, the administration has imposed restrictions at beaches and near water bodies in the district to prevent large gatherings during the ongoing three-day Pongal celebration. In order to avoid large gatherings, all beaches and major water bodies across the district shall remain closed for the public from January 13 to 17, said Collector Vijay Kulange.