Covid-19: College managements fear burden of quarantine

BENGALURU: As the number of clusters of those coming from Kerala to Karnataka and testing positive is on the rise, the worry among managements and health officials, is also soaring. While the managements of educational and professional institutions fear institutional quarantine (IQ), health checks, payments and responsibilities associated with it, health officials are worried about the laxity and attitude, which is leading to the rise in Covid-19 cases and the formation of clusters in the state.

“Cases are not just rising in Dakshina Kannada and Kolar, but have also started to rise in Bengaluru, and the first in line is the Christian College of Nursing in Mahadevapura. We learnt about it because students started showing symptoms and some of their contacts were staying in other places who told neighbours and the word spread. But there are many other colleges and institutions who have not shared the data as yet, despite government orders,” said a senior BBMP official not wanting to be named. 

Health department officials who have expressed their concerns said that, those who come from Kerala do not want to go in for institutional quarantine and “assert that they have a negative report”.  “The managements tell us that they believe the reports their students and employees are carrying, but if the government does not believe it and are insisting on IQ, then the government should make all arrangements for it and not put the onus on the managements. They want to shun this task under the guise of an additional test and expenditure,” said a health department official.

The BBMP and the health department has identified and listed out hotel rooms for those coming from Kerala, to undergo IQ. If need be, some are also being sent to Covid-19 care centres.  “Managements do not understand that even if they carry negative test reports, the virus can start acting after five to seven days. IQ and an additional test is no harm. This exercise also ensures that the virus does not spread and cases do not rise,” said another BBMP official.