At least 14 children in Andhra Pradesh's Guntur district have contracted coronavirus allegedly from a tuition teacher in the district, officials said.
All the children, who are below 12 years, had attended the tuition class by the teacher couple, who had tested positive, they added. Along with the students, a few parents have also tested positive for the contagious disease, they said
"On September 25, one person died of COVID-19 at Guntur government hospital. So far the area where he came from was a green zone with no cases. We tested 250 people of who 39 turned out positive. Fourteen were children from 8-12 years who had been attending tuition at a common point," Dr Seshu Kumar, PHC, Bhatluru village, said.
The district administration has issued notice to the teacher for holding classes in violation of Covid protocols issued by the government.
The teacher was an English lecturer at a junior college in Narasaraopet. His wife was pregnant and reportedly tested positive before delivery. She had safely delivered a baby.
"Since he is not allowed to conduct such classes according to Covid protocols and did it knowingly, we have issued notice to him," said Mandal Education Officer Srinivas Rao.
Teachers at several private educational institutions have been facing tremendous hardship with literally no salary for over six months now as schools and colleges remain closed. The institutions have either removed them or put their salaries on hold.
The incident has come at a time when the number of Covid cases in the state is on a downward curve. The administration is worried about new superspreaders, due to negligence, specially in rural areas.
Andhra Pradesh has crossed seven lakh positive cases and stands second in the country after Maharashtra. The southern state reported 2.58 lakh cases in the month of September alone - a 45 per cent increase from August.
This was however the lowest growth rate in Andhra Pradesh for any 30-day period since the beginning of the outbreak. In August there was a 300 per cent surge in infections, 900 per cent increase in July and over 300 per cent increase in June.
In the last one month, the state also reported a nearly 30 per cent decrease in case positivity rate and deaths. The state reported 6,000-8,000 in September as against 10,000 daily infections in August.
The overall positivity rate is at 11.9 per cent and mortality at 0.84 per cent, with recovery of over 90 per cent.