Bengaluru, Dec 1 (IANS) Over 500 medical, dental, pharmacy, Ayush and nursing colleges across Karnataka reopened on Tuesday after remaining shut for over 8 months due to the Covid-induced extended lockdown and subsequent restrictions.
“All state-run and private medical, para-medical, including dental, nursing and Ayurvedic colleges reopened for classes across the state, keeping in view the guidelines of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the standard operating procedure of the Union Health Ministry to ensure the safety of students and faculty,” a state Medical Education Directorate official told IANS.
The southern state has 186 medical, 63 dental, 88 pharmacy, 40 Ayush and 200 nursing colleges, with many of them attached to state-run and private hospitals. They are all affiliated to the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences.
“The response has been mixed from students on the first day, especially in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mangaluru, Hubballi, Belagavi and Kalaburagi. As the latest negative RT-PCR test certificate has been mandatory to enter their college, those who did not have the test results were absent,” said the official.
Wearing a mask, sanitising hands and maintaining physical distance were observed in all colleges and classes by students and their faculty.
“Online classes will continue for those who are unable to attend their college for any reason. Labs and operation theatres will operate as per the guidelines,” said the official.
The university has advised all colleges not to hold conferences, seminars, workshops and interviews till further notice to avoid large gathering and crowding in closed environs.
“The university has also advised the colleges to post only final-year under-graduate students and post-graduate interns to work at Covid-designated hospitals.
“Junior students are advised to stay away from high-risk areas and hospitals where Covid patients are under treatment,” added the official.
The university has also directed all colleges to screen students and faculty with thermal scanners and disinfect classes and clinics before opening and after closing them for the day.
“Students in college and hostels have been advised to wear surgical masks as they are exposed to clinical facilities in labs for practical lessons,” said university Vice Chancellor N. Sachidanand.
State Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar visited a couple of medical colleges in the city for a first-hand account of the facilities and response of the students.
Though colleges reopened on November 17, the students’ response has been tepid due to the fear of the pandemic, which persists in cities and towns across the state though the caseload has declined.