Karnataka colleges prepare to avert a third wave of Covid-19

COVID-19 Education Safety

Following SOPs; students and parents relieved

Colleges in Karnataka say they are following precautionary measures to prevent a probable third wave of the pandemic. They are working towards ensuring that no Covid-19 clusters develop on their premises.

Dr H. Prakash, principal of the government-run Maharani’s Arts, Commerce and Management College, Bengaluru, informed The Observer: “We are taking all precautions to help avoid a third wave of the pandemic. Measures like wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and sanitizing students have been made compulsory. Students are not allowed to form groups. Each individual can help avert a third wave of the pandemic, and we are playing our part. Education has to carry on. All of us need to be prudent in our ways.”

The Observer noted that the students at Maharani College were maintaining social distancing. Each classroom had an unoccupied seat between two students.

Mr Madhusudana, professor of English Literature at the college said: “We are getting the floors mopped regularly. Personal hygiene is recommended among students. A standard operating procedure is followed. All the government guidelines are being taken care of.”

At Mount Carmel College, a private college in Vasanth Nagar, The Observer found a vaccination drive being conducted. The students were being injected with the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Social distancing was being followed properly. There were 10 rows with four chairs each. Each student occupied a single chair. Some students had come to seek admission. They stood at an arm’s distance from each other.

Dr Helen Roselin professor of environmental sciences at the college, shared: “At the science lab, students have to do titrations, which need pipettes. Each student has one pipette sterilized at 105 degrees Celsius. They are kept in the oven and then placed in a container filled with alcohol. They are cleaned thoroughly before reusing. We don’t let the students do soil analysis. We do the analysis and avoid crowding by the students. As for the entire institute, we don’t want clusters forming in our college and thus hold regular vaccination drives. Getting vaccinated is mandatory for all.”

The college has a bulletin board stating all standard operating procedures to be followed by the students and staff alike.

Ayush Bhatt, a student at the Kasturba Medical College, said: “Ours is a medical college. We have to deal with patients, so almost all students have been vaccinated with both doses. Wearing masks is compulsory even in the hostel. There are temperature checks. If a student goes out of the hostel, he/she is put into quarantine on return. RT-PCR report is checked both on the first and the last day of quarantine. We are doing our bit to prevent a third wave.  All patients are also subjected to RT-PCR tests before treatment.”

Aniket Edhate, a student at IISc, explained: “We feel safe at our college. Our college has strict guidelines that everyone on campus has to follow like maintaining social distancing, undergoing temperature scans, wearing masks in public places. There are regular vaccination drives on campus. The cleaning staff disinfect and sanitize hostel premises three times a day. Even after being on campus, we are bound to do online classes.Practicals and lab work are allowed for 15 students at a time. They, too, have to maintain appropriate distance and follow Covid guidelines.” 

Both students and parents are not worried about colleges reopening as all due measures are being undertaken by the colleges concerned.

Geetika Singh, mother of Abhimanyu Singh, a student at Presidency College, said: “I am not at all hesitant about sending my son to college. His college opened a month back. They are taking all the necessary actions to keep the campus a safe place for all the students.”

Dr Yesu Sharmila, who works at the Society for Community Health Awareness, Research and Action, Bengaluru, shared: “The situation is now OK and cases are reducing. Students were sitting idle at home and they need to go to college. Even though a third wave is not yet in sight, it is still important to take precautions and prepare for one. There should be proper rules for students to follow. Proper sanitization should be made mandatory. If a student contracts a fever, they should be quarantined.”

Degree colleges and polytechnics in the state reopened on July 26 after a gap of almost 18 months. Students who have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine are allowed to attend classes. Institutions have been directed to strictly adhere to SOPs. Students were asked to submit consent letters in a prescribed format duly signed by their parents.



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