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COVID-19 infects IIT-Madras; forces shutdown

By T E Narasimhan
December 15, 2020 11:50 IST
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A total of 774 students are on the campus and most of those who were infected were residents of Krishna and Jamuna hostels.
T E Narasimhan reports.

 

The Indian Institute of Technology-Madras has shut all the departments after more than 100 students tested positive for COVID-19.

Those who have tested positive include research scholars, staff, students are admitted to the King's Institute of Preventive Medicine and Research.

Sources at IIT-M say the management's decision to run only one mess could be the reason.

A total of 774 students are on the campus and most of those who were infected were residents of Krishna and Jamuna hostels.

On December 6, five had tested positive for the virus.

In the next days, five more tested positive in Krishna Hostel.

After that inmates of KrishnA hostel were asked to go into quarantine and everybody was asked to undergo a test, the scholar added.

Meanwhile, IIT-M has decided to shutdown all its departments, centres and asked their staff to work from home and anyone with the symptoms like fever, dry cough, sore throat, diarrhoea, loss of taste/smell, or any other symptoms have been requested to get in touch with hospital officials.

The post graduate students, research scholars and others have been asked to be confined to their rooms with arrangements made to deliver food to their rooms.

IIT-m in a statement said the Institute has been functioning on limited capacity with only 10 per cent students staying in the hostels.

After the rising cases were reported by some students, the institute consulted with the civic authorities and arranged for testing of all the students.

IIT-M is permitting research scholars on experimental work to return to the campus but with a 14-day quarantine and Covid testing.

'Our capacity to quarantine (with room service) is limited, and this limits the rate at which we can bring back scholars to the hostels,' said the management.

'We will attempt to increase our capacity to quarantine returning students since the government is releasing the hostels they took custody of to quarantine Covid patients during the past seven months,' IIT-M said in the statement.

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T E Narasimhan
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