The Manipal Institute of Technology in Karnataka’s Udupi district was declared a containment zone, after 59 students living on campus tested positive for the coronavirus over the past few days, the NDTV reported on Thursday, quoting State Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar.

“Our district commissioner has gone to the site and declared it a containment zone,” Sudhakar said. “All containment zone guidelines are being followed. They [the students] will all be traced, isolated, monitored and tested.”

Registrar of the Manipal Academy of Higher Education Narayana Sabhahit told the channel that around 5,800 students were living in the institute. Those who tested positive had been isolated in a separate block, Sabhahit said.

“There has been a rise in numbers in Udupi district and the neighbouring district of Mangaluru – both of which are close to Kerala,” the institute official added. “With cases reported in the MIT campus, the district administration said the MIT campus should be a containment zone.”

However, only the hostel area of the campus has been sealed. “The academic area is unaffected and faculty can reach there with passes and with Covid protocol,” Sabhahit said. “Movement has been restricted across the campus as a precaution.”

The MIT administration had already decided to conduct all theory classes in online mode and defer the laboratory, practical and contact classes to a later date, according to the Hindustan Times. “Pending end semester examination of First semester B Tech will be rescheduled to a later date,” the institution said in a letter on Wednesday.

District Health Officer Sudhidra Chandra Suda told the Hindustan Times that most of the students who tested positive are from other states. Some first contacts with the infected patients also tested positive, Suda said.

Karnataka has been reporting a surge in the coronavirus disease cases over the last two weeks and authorities have made it mandatory for travellers from Maharashtra and Kerala to carry negative Covid-19 test certificates.