At least 43 medical students of Chalmeda Anand Rao Institute of Medical Sciences at Bommakal in Karimnagar district of Telangana have tested positive for COVID-19 forcing the authorities to suspend classes and shutting down the campus.
The college had held its annual day fest over a week ago and that could have been the source of spread of the virus.
Karimnagar district medical and health officer Dr Juveria said the government had not been informed about the intention to conduct a physical gathering of so many people for the annual day event. Many were reportedly not wearing mask during the function.
"So far 200 people have been tested. On Monday, there will be a special camp to test all 1,000 people on the campus,'' Dr Juveira said.
Reports say 13 students tested positive on Saturday while another 26 tested positive on Sunday.
All the students, staff are being tested and a sanitation drive was carried out.
Telangana's public health director Dr G Srinivas said he expects more cases to come by mid-January and to peak by February, pointing out that Omicron spreads six times faster than delta.
Samples of 13 passengers who came to Hyderabad from abroad and tested positive have been sent for genome sequencing and results are expected by today.
979 passengers had arrived from 11 'at-risk' countries and even those who tested negative have been asked to stay under home quarantine for 14 days and get tested on the 8th day of arrival.
Telangana's health minister Harish Rao has written to the Centre asking them to consider allowing booster dose to healthcare workers, frontline workers and vulnerable groups. He has also asked about approval of vaccines for children and reducing the gap between two Covishield doses from the present 12 weeks to between four and six weeks.