Students are reportedly organizing 'COVID Positive' parties in the halls amidst one of the biggest outbreaks all over the UK. Over 1,000 students have tested positive for the deadly virus at Manchester University, with many forced into isolation.
The Fallowfield campus of the university, which is the home to Manchester's biggest group of first-year students has turned into a hotspot with cases rising every day. But as the university and the health bosses grapple to contain the spread through the halls, there are many reports emerging regarding the worrying behavior of the students.
As per an 18-year-old physics student, the 'COVID Positive' party was stopped by the security on Saturday. The fresher stated that it could have been a huge party. "There was a flat party a few days ago which had a policy that you could only get in if you were positive," the student told The Guardian. The director of public health in Manchester, David Regan said that the city's spike was driven by the cases among the 17-21 age group of students. There were around 2,740 new cases in Manchester in the week till October 1 and over half were in the 17-21 age group.
The rate of incidence for the group is currently 2,935 per 100,000 people almost six times higher than the remaining of Manchester and more than 23 times greater than the national rate. Both the Manchester Metropolitan and Manchester University, where there was a smaller outbreak in September, have got shifted to online classes for protecting the health of staff and students.
The universities stated that they would increase the level of online learning for most programs till October 30. Face-to-face teaching is going to continue for some clinical or practice-based classes. This comes amid the rise in cases all over the nation, with analysis showing the infection rate across the UK has increased from 63.8 per 100,000 to 125.7.
The University and College Union (UCU) has accepted the move but mentioned that the outbreaks could have been avoided had the decision been made earlier. In a statement, the UCU mentioned, "It is clear the Government needs to stop pretending university campuses are well prepared for this crisis, and tell all universities to halt in-person teaching to control the spread of the virus." The deadly virus outbreak has created a major stir around the world and has infected over 35.8 million people globally and claimed the lives of over one million people. An effective vaccine is expected by the first quarter of 2021.