A total of 192 students of class 10 from two schools in India's Kerala tested positive for Covid-19 days after they started attending classes physically under the Covid-19 cloud.
Officials said that following a contact-tracing exercise, the students from Kerala's Malappuram district tested positive for Covid-19 on 1 February and up to 72 employees were also diagnosed with the disease.
District Medical Officer Dr K Sakeena said after one student tested positive, others were checked as part of contact tracing and surveillance, reports NDTV.
"Subsequently, students and staff of another school in the same area were also tested. This needs to be seen as a timely intervention to contain the spread," said Dr Sakeena.
This comes in the midst of the high number of fresh cases of Covid-19 recorded in Kerala, a state initially held up as a role model for the pandemic's handling.
India's first Covid-19 case was registered by Kerala in January 2020. It now has a cumulative record of 9,68,438 cases, 6,075 more than a day earlier, with 3,867 fatalities reported so far, 19 more than on Sunday.
The test positivity rate in Kerala had dipped to 7.18 on February 6 as testing was ramped up, as compared to being over 10 in the beginning of the month.
Of the 638 students tested in all recently 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.
The District Collector has now called for a meeting today with all officials to decide on further action.
Class 10 and 12 students had begun physically attending schools in Kerala since last month, especially for practical sessions and to clear the remaining doubts in lessons. They have been divided into multiple shifts with restricted numbers as part of the Covid-19 protocol for schools.