79 more people test positive for Covid-19 at IIT Madras taking total to 183

IIT-M had decided to shut down all its departments on Monday.
IIT Madras has reported an additional 79 Covid-19 positive cases taking the total to 183 infected persons - mostly students - at the premier engineering institute.

On Monday, over 100 people had tested positive for Covid-19 at the institute. Those who have tested positive include research scholars, staff members and students who are admitted to the Kings Institute.

Speaking to reporters J Radhakrishnan, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare said that 79 people including students have tested positive for coronavirus in IIT-M thereby taking the total number of to 183. He said coronavirus tests will be done at all the Universities and educational institutions.

IIT-M had decided to shut down all its departments on Monday.

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

On Monday, IIT Madras in a statement said that the institute has been functioning on limited capacity with only 10% students in the hostels. As soon as a spurt in symptomatic cases was reported by some students residing in the hostels, the institute consulted the civic authorities and arranged for all students residing in hostels to be tested for Covid-19. To be cautious, all students have been asked to remain in their rooms and packed food is being supplied to the students in the hostels.

"IIT Madras has been permitting research scholars who need to do experimental work to return to campus in a cautious manner - with a 14-day quarantine and testing of each returnee. Our capacity to quarantine (with room service) is limited, and this limits the rate at which we can bring back scholars to the hostels."

Some project staff working on research projects and staying in the city have been coming to work in the labs, once this was permitted by the government. A SoP is in place to determine how many scholars and project staff can work safely in each lab based on its size, ventilation etc. Research scholars who wished to return earlier (out of turn with respect to the SoP involving quarantine before release into the hostels) were permitted to do so if they were willing to stay off-campus like the project staff, till their turn came to be accepted in the hostels, and provided their lab could accommodate them.

"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-19 patients during the last 7 months," said the institute in the statement.

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