Fifty-three students of a college in Odisha’s Dhenkanal district have tested positive for coronavirus, officials said on Thursday. The emergence of the cluster of infections prompted the municipal administration to seal the Saikrupa Residential College at Kunjakanta in Dhenkanal town, around 60 km northwest of Bhubaneswar, for an indefinite period.

Three to four days ago, four students at a hostel in Kunjakanta area were detected with the disease, following which others there were tested, an official told journalists. Thirty-three tested positive and the patients were moved to isolation. Later, 16 more students returned positive, taking the total to 53, according to the official.

An FIR has been lodged against the college chairperson and the principal for failing to restrain many students, who went back homes after the tests, District Collector Saroj Kumar Sethi said. The Kunjakanta ward has been declared as a micro-containment zone for 10 days, he added. The collector has issued directions to restrict social gatherings like weddings to 100, strictly implement night curfew, and ensure compliance of Covid protocols like wearing masks and social distancing at public places.

By tanmay

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