CHENNAI: A Covid-19 cluster has been identified at IIT-Madras, with 58 people, including 17 students, testing positive on campus between January 5 and 9.
Confirming that people on the campus tested positive, IIT-M director Bhaskar Ramamurthi said, “We are implementing whatever Chennai corporation and doctors decide.”
In a letter sent to all students on Monday, the institute said that the affected people have been sent to government institutional quarantine/home quarantine as advised by the government testing facility and their family members have been placed under home quarantine.
Students said those who returned to the campus after January 1 were told by the institute that they will be allowed inside classrooms and laboratories only after they quarantine themselves for a week or produce a Covid-19 negative certificate.
A corporation health official said they have asked the institute to arrange for isolation wards for those affected with Covid. “So far, 33 cases have been reported to us,” said a corporation official.
Students back at campus after Jan 1 advised to isolate
An official said, “All have mild or no symptoms; we have asked them to provide isolation facilities to those who have tested positive. The cases were reported over last week.” The campus saw its first cluster when 71 people, including 66 students, tested positive for the viral infection in December 2020.
In its letter, the institute said, “In view of the rapid increase of Omicron cases in India, the campus residents/dependents who have returned to campus from other states/abroad are advised to inform the chief medical officer (CMO) of the institute hospital immediately and obtain information on possible home quarantine.”
Students said those who returned to the campus after January 1 have been isolated for seven days.
“The institute asked us to quarantine for seven days or show a Covid-19 negative certificate to access classrooms and labs. We were told to arrange for RT-PCR tests ourselves. The administration should be arranging for the Covid test and quarantine students who test positive,” a BTech final year student said.
In view of the cluster, the institute urged the campus community to follow safety precautions such as maintaining social distance, wearing face masks, frequent hand washing and avoiding unnecessary travel. It also asked those with mild symptoms to isolate themselves and get in touch with the institute hospital.