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IIT-Madras cluster: Number of COVID-19 cases rises to 183

A total of 514 students have been tested for the virus as of Tuesday.

The external visage of IIT Madras in Chennai's Adyar area

The number of persons within the IIT-Madras campus to test positive for the coronavirus has increased to 183 on Tuesday. A total of 514 students have been tested and while 104 persons were declared COVID-19 positive by Monday, 79 others were found to be positive for the virus on Tuesday. The next round of tests will be conducted after 10 days, the institute has said.

The health department has continued to keep the public updated and has said that there is no reason to panic. Several measures have reportedly already been taken inside the institute to prevent any further spread of the virus, such as shutting down common areas. The virus is believed to have spread because of overcrowding in a common mess area within the campus.

“As soon as a spurt in symptomatic cases was reported by some students residing in the hostels, the Institute has consulted the civic authorities and has 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 said in a statement on Monday.

The institute has already shut down libraries, labs and other common facilities in view of the cluster.

“District authorities have been emphasising that this kind of spread is possible in other colleges, especially in hostels. Even here, there was a common mess. We have asked for this mess to be closed and prepared as a take-away option. When it comes to closed spaces, crowded spaces and close contact we have to remain very careful,” said Health Secretary Radhakrishnan to the media on Monday.