Karnataka colleges may be shut again due to recent surge in Covid-19 cases

Barely a week after reopening of colleges, Karnataka government is rethinking the move. Degree, diploma and engineering colleges were reopened immediately after Diwali on November 17 but since Covid-19 cases in the state are again witnessing a fresh surge, the government is rethinking its strategy.

Health minister Dr K Sudhakar, while speaking to reporters in Dharwad on Sunday, said, “If the cases go up as is being reported by you (media) then we might shutdown the colleges once again as there is no alternative.”

Interestingly, the health minister’s statement comes ahead of a crucial meeting on Monday to decide on reopening of schools. The government, staff, students and parents are all concerned after reports of at least 130 students and staff found infected with Covid-19 after reopening of colleges.

Health and education department officials had justified reopening of colleges citing the need for practical learning, lack of online education infrastructure facility and digital gadgets among poor students, health issues due to continuous exposure to digital devices as some of the reasons for reopening colleges.

Sudhakar defended the move to reopen colleges saying that youth generally have more immunity and that the government had the dual responsibility of protecting their health and safeguarding their academic interests. However, he said there would be a rethink after getting more data from officials.

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