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Covid spike at IIT Madras, 700 students being tested

IIT Madras has shut down its departments, centres, labs and the library citing a spurt in coronavirus cases in hostels, according to an email to students that NDTV has accessed

Sixty-six students, sources say, have tested positive for Covid this month and 700 more are being tested

Faculty and students have been asked to work from home.

The premier educational institution, in a statement, said hostels had only 10 per cent of the usual residents and all were tested after a few reported positive.

Students still in hostels are being supplied packed food, said IIT.

“An 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 were permitted to do so if they were willing to stay off campus similar to project staff, till their turn came to be accepted in the hostels, and provided their lab could accommodate them,” it said.

Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said that the students are reported to be in stable condition. “The students have been quarantined and are reported to be in stable condition. There is no need to panic. Such clusters were expected following the lifting of restriction in the state,” he said.

COVID-19 numbers in Tamil Nadu and its capital Chennai, which was earlier a hotspot, have drastically come down. On Sunday the state reported 1,195 cases, with Chennai accounting for 340. Though the state’s COVID tally is nearing 8 lakh, active cases are at 10,115.