229 students at Maharashtra school test positive for Covid-19
By Pradip Kumar Maitra
As many as 229 students at a residential school in Maharashtra’s Washim district have tested positive for coronavirus disease, district health officer Avinash Aher said on Thursday.
Four teaching and non-teaching employees at the school have also been infected, Aher said, adding that the area has been declared a containment zone.
“Necessary treatment is being given to the patients. Two doctors and other health workers have been deputed to treat the students,” the official said. He said that almost all the students are asymptomatic.
The development has come amid a spate of cases in the state. On Thursday, more than 8,000 cases were recorded in the state.
With 8,807 cases on Wednesday, Maharashtra recorded over 8,000 cases after a gap of over four months. It reported 8,142 cases on October 21 last year, after which the numbers witnessed a decline.
On Thursday, district collector Shanmugarajan S visited the school and instructed the district health department to provide care to the students and the school staff. “Assistant collector Vaibhah Waghmare has been appointed as the nodal officer to coordinate the health care,” he said.
In a related development, the chief priest at the Pohradevi temple in the district, including 11 others also tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday.
The priest was present during Maharashtra forest minister and Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Rathod’s visit to the temple earlier this week. Rathod visited the temple on Tuesday, along with nearly 25,000 of his supporters after the opposition in the state sought his arrest over his alleged role in the death of a 22-year-old woman.
Shanmugarajan said that the priest and five of his family members tested Covid-19 positive. “We have set up testing camps near the temple to detect coronavirus infection among the temple staff and nearby villagers, particularly those who had attended the temple on Tuesday when the minister visited there,” the collector said.
Taking serious note of the gathering, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray directed the district administration and police officials to immediately take action against those who flouted Covid-19 norms.
While offences were registered against around 10 people, no action was taken against Rathod, said WHO. “We are trying to identify others in this connection and will certainly book them,” Shanmugarajan said.
The Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in the state has banned all gatherings of more than 50 people with strict action against people not adhering to the social distancing norms.
With agency inputs