IIT-Madras which was listed under Covid-19 hotspot has got 79 new cases on Tuesday which makes a total of 183 cases inside the campus now in December. On Monday, the Covid-19 positive cases arched over the 8 lakh mark in Tamil Nadu. so far 8,00,029 people had got infected and 11,909 deaths were reported. According to the data, a total of 7,78,081 people have been discharged from hospitals.
The IIT-Madras issued a statement this Sunday which said that it has been functioning on very limited capacity with just 10% students in the hostels. The statement also claimed that the institute has been permitting research scholars who need to do experimental work to return to campus in a very cautious manner, which strictly abided by the 14-day quarantine and testing for the virus of each returnee. 953 residents on the campus have been tested till now. “Next round of testing will be done after 10 days,” said a spokesperson for the institution. Until Monday 104 were tested positive for the virus, among which 87 of them were students, 16 staff from the mess, and one resident.
According to health secretary J Radhakrishnan, the positive patients’ CT-scan, X-ray, and other required tests were being done and they were all mild and stable. They are all being treated at King’s Institute of Preventive Medicine and Research. Speaking of which the health secretary’s family members were also treated for Covid-19 at the King’s Institute and were discharged in early August. He shared this with the students and residents who are under quarantine at the campus, to reduce their fears. “We decided to test everyone which may increase numbers but it will prevent the spread,” said Radhakrishnan.
A postdoctoral student who was in the campus hostel since March, was one of the hundreds of students who was tested on Monday, and was actually awaiting her results. She said, “I’ve not gone to the hostel mess because it is overcrowded as only one mess was open and I’ve been ordering food from outside. A second mess was opened after December 9 and scholars were coming into the campus from outside and there could be possibilities that they are exposed.
Infrequent cases were being reported in the early days of December which in due course led to a spike. The food is now being sent to hostel rooms. The institution has temporarily shut down its research labs as well as academic departments. 9 hostels on campus have reported positive cases and a majority of cases were mainly reported from two exclusive hostel units named Krishna and Jamuna. Radhakrishnan said that his department has once again alerted all the collectors and education institutions to be careful in closed spaces like hostels and common mess which seems to be a key source of spread.