Ninety-one of the 192 school students, who recently tested positive for the coronavirus in Kerala's Malappuram, had attended the same coaching class. As per officials, up to 72 staffers, too, have tested positive for Covid-19.
A total of 638 students were tested at the two Malappuram schools — 149 belonged to one and 43 to another. Similarly, of the staffers tested, including teachers, 39 of those who tested positive belonged to one school and 33 to another, NDTV reported.
"91 students, of the 192 who tested positive, were attending one tuition centre. This has been sealed by the police for now. Other students attending these classes have been asked to stay in home isolation and are being tested," Ramesh Kumar, the education officer, was quoted in the report.
To arrest the spread of the disease, another school, which is located close to the two infected schools, too, has been shut down temporarily as precaution.
"We cannot give the numbers - how many students who have already tested positive had links to the tuition centre. Some cases have been reported, and all the students there will be tested as part of overall testing," Dr K Sakeena, the district medical officer, said.
Around 2,000 people from adjoining residential areas of the students and teachers are also being tested and the contact list will include parents and others close to the patients.
"It was just one student who reported positive first.. and, in another school, a teacher tested positive. We did mass testing on a precautionary basis to check for any possible spread. Over 600 were tested, of which 192 were positive. Most were asymptomatic," Kumar said.
Students of class 10 and 12 had begun physically attending schools in Kerala since last month, especially for practical sessions and to clear the remaining doubts in lessons.
This comes amid the rapid surge in fresh coronavirus cases being reported in Kerala, a state that was initially held up as a role model for its handling of the pandemic.