Mysore/Mysuru: In view of re-opening of colleges and hostels across the State from Nov. 17 and as per Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) issued by State Government, all teachers, students and non-teaching staff must produce a COVID-19 RT-PCR negative test report, which is done within 72 hours or three days before the day of joining.
In a press release, the Commissionerate of Health and Family Welfare Services has instructed to make all necessary arrangements for collecting nasal and throat swabs and testing the same. Further, the health staff should collect the samples from teachers, students and non-teaching staff of both colleges and hostels, without any delay and facilitate quick testing. The test result must be sent as SMS to registered mobile number in ICMR portal or it can be accessed by visiting www.covidwar.karnataka.gov.in/servicel, for lab reports. All labs are instructed to carry out testing of these samples through pooled (I:5) testing process and upload the results of ICMR portal immediately, the release added.
Meanwhile, the authorities of University of Mysore (UoM) have asked officials concerned to take steps for sanitisation of the entire building, main entrance, toilets, furniture in all the classrooms and teaching materials without fail. Students must bring water and food from home. Teaching faculty must compulsorily wear mask and face shield while taking classes without fail.
Libraries and canteens must be closed till further orders. No cultural events, NCC and NSS events are cancelled. Students who are willing to attend the classes from Nov.17 must get the signature of their parents in prescribed form and should be submitted to the college authorities on the day of re-opening. Laboratory and project classes, if necessary should be held in shift. Interested can visit the Varsity website www.uni-mysore.ac.in, to see details of SOP.
Not possible within 3 days: Health Department
Meanwhile, sources in Health Department, Mysuru District, opined that it was not possible to conduct RT-PCR test for all students, teachers and non-teaching staff of both colleges and hostels before Nov.17.
An estimated 15,000 students are studying in various colleges and many of them have not returned to Mysuru following the closure of colleges since March this year.
Besides, there are several hundreds of teachers and non-teaching staff working in many colleges and hostels. Today being holiday on account of ‘Naraka Chaturdashi’ festival, tomorrow Sunday and Deepavali festival on Monday, they cannot expect students, teachers and non-teaching members to come to testing centres to give the swab samples. Even if they put additional mobile teams besides static teams, it would take at least 10-15 days to cover a majority of students who are ready to attend colleges. Taluk Hospitals have been asked to ramp up testing to conduct RT-PCR test on students.
The District Health Department was deploying mobile teams to conduct testing in colleges upon request from the managements. Already, one round of testing has been done for teaching and non-teaching staff of St.Philomena’s, SJCE and NIE. Each lab technician can do swab collection of 50 in a day and not more than that.
“Today, we are conducting test for teaching and non-teaching staff of Zoology Department in Manasagangothri. Another Department has given appointment to conduct test for 300 plus members on Tuesday. In my view, it will easily take another 10-15 days to complete testing of a majority of students,” an officer said on condition of anonymity.
Medical Colleges from Dec. 1
Health and Medical Education Minister Dr. K. Sudhakar has said that State Government has decided to re-open all the Medical, Dental, AYUSH, Paramedical, Nursing and Pharmacy Colleges affiliated to Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) from Dec. 1. The administration staff of colleges and students must strictly adhere to guidelines issued by the Government, he said.