With a major outbreak of coronavirus reported inside the premises, IIT Chennai campus is placed under containment.
So far a total of 104 students and others have contracted the disease and all were doing well in a hospital, Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said
Allaying fears of further spread Of the 444 samples lifted till date, 104 have tested positive for COVID-19, he said, adding from December 1 to 12, samples from the institute turning positive steadily increased from a few to 33 specimens today.
“All of them are being treated at the King’s Institute of Preventive Medicine and Research as per the directive of Chief Minister K Palaniswami and they are all doing well,” he told reporters
Radhakrishnan said though the results showed a 20 per cent positivity rate, there was no need for concern as measures including aggressive contact testing are in place as per the protocol.
“As soon as we started getting cases, we went in for aggressive testing and contact tracing.
A majority of them are students and some canteen workers.” On the source of infection, he said “it is said that it could be from the mess,” but there was nothing to panic about further spread since all measures were in place to combat it, he said
The students allege the IIT-M’s decision to run only one mess is the reason for the large scale spread of coronavirus.
In the mess one cannot be wearing a mask and a congregation of good number of persons in the mess is ripe cause for disaster.
A total of 774 students are in the campus and most of those who were infected were residents of two hostels Krishna and Jamuna.
With this development, the IIT Madras has issued an official order on Sunday to shut down all the departments, centres and the library immediately until further notice.
It further instructed all its faculty, staff and research scholars to work from home till then.
Further, the students, scholars and staff who are staying inside the campus were advised to confine themselves to their hostel rooms and maintain social distance at all times and anyone with symptoms like fever, dry cough, sore throat, diarrhoea, loss of taste/smell, or any other symptoms have been requested to get in touch the hospital officials.
The health experts have recommended the institute to monitor ‘Mask, handwashing, social distancing and other standard procedures’, while the civic authorities are said to work closely with IIT-M authorities to conduct tests on everyone and in disinfecting the hotspots inside the campus.
Reports also said all students in the hostel have been asked to remain in their rooms and packed food is being supplied to the students in the hostels, to ensure safety.
According to officials, the students who had returned to the campus were quarantined for two weeks, but the quarantining capacity is limited.
Those who have been infected with coronavirus are progressing well, officials said.