With the number of COVID-19 cases in SDM College of Medical Sciences and Hospital in Dharwad going up from 66 to 182 on November 26, the Dharwad district administration sealed the entire campus, and closed the entry and exit points as a precautionary measure.
After holding a meeting to assess the situation in the wake of the increase in numbers, Deputy Commissioner of Dharwad Nitesh Patil told media persons that Out Patients Department (OPD) in the hospital had been closed for three days, and the entry of visitors and attendants of patients had been banned.
This apart, all the patients undergoing treatment in the hospital are also being tested for the infection, and only those who have tested negative for the COVID-19 pandemic are being discharged.
With suspicion the affected persons being infected by a variant of the COVID-19 virus, samples have been sent to Bengaluru for genome sequencing. The reports are expected by November 27 evening.
As a precautionary measure, the schools and colleges in a radius of 500 metres from the SDM College of Medical Sciences and Hospital campus have been closed.
Mr. Patil said that as many as 11 counters had been set up on the campus to collect swab samples of the staff and faculty members of the medical college and hospital. The campus has around 3,500 persons, including students, doctors, health and other staff, and faculty members.
On November 25, 66 students had tested positive. Most of them are residents of the two hostels of the medical college. Both the hostels were sealed.
Following intervention of the district administration, COVID-19 testing was expedited, and nearly 700 more swab samples were collected, of which 116 were positive.
The Deputy Commissioner said that of the total 182 positive patients, 25 were doctors and medical staff. As these doctors had interacted with various patients, visited clinics and nursing homes, the district administration decided to close the entire campus .
All efforts were on to contain the infection within the campus, he said.