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IIT-Madras becomes COVID-19 hotspot with over 100 infections

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has become a COVID-19 cluster with over 100 people testing positive for the virus since December 1. On Sunday, 71 people including 66 students and 5 staff members tested positive while 33 more were found to have been infected on Monday.

The institute has temporarily shut down its academic zone including, labs, libraries and departments to contain the spread of the virus. Faculty and students have been asked to work from home.

IIT-M officials said there are 774 students on campus. A majority of those infected were residents of two hostels — Krishna and Jamuna.

IIT-M said in a statement, hostels had only 10 percent of the usual residents and all were tested after a few reported positiveThe institute said that as soon as the spurt in symptomatic cases was reported, they consulted the civic authorities and arranged for all students residing in hostels to be tested for COVID-19.

Students have been asked to remain in the hostels and the institute is providing them with packed food.

The statement added, “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.”