A day after 19 students were found to be infected with coronavirus in a school in Maharashtra's Ahmednagar, 33 more students have tested positive, reports said on December 26.
The COVID-19 infections were detected at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, a residential school affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). It is located in Takli Dhokeshwar village of Ahmednagar district.
With a total of 52 students now being detected with the COVID-19 infection, the school has been sealed, the reports said.
After the initial set of coronavirus positive cases were confirmed, the authorities had reportedly collected around 450 samples from the school for testing.
The students who have tested positive have been quarantined at Parner's Rural Hospital, where they are being offered treatment, NDTV had reported.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
District collector Rajendra Bhosale, while speaking to the news channel, said all close and distant contacts of the students are being traced. RT-PCR tests are being conducted on them, he said.
The COVID-19 cluster has been detected in Ahmednagar days after schools for all classes were reopened in Maharashtra. The state government had allowed the offline classes to start from December 1, considering the dwindling coronavirus caseload.
Over the past few days, however, Maharashtra has also been constantly recording COVID-19 infections caused by the highly contagious Omicron variant. The state has detected 108 cases of Omicron, highest in the country so far.
Amid the emerging risks posed by the new coronavirus variant, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a landmark announcement on December 25, said children aged from 15 to 18 will be eligible for vaccination from January 3 onwards.Shortly before the prime minister's announcement, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) approved the emergency use of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin vaccine on children aged 12-18.