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IIT Madras turns into COVID-19 hotspot as 66 students test positive; campus placed under lockdown

At least 66 students of IIT Madras have tested positive for the novel coronavirus following which the campus have been placed under lockdown.

Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M) has turned into a COVID-19 hotspot in Chennai after 66 students tested positive for the highly contagious coronavirus in the campus. The officials have now placed the campus under lockdown and “students, scholars and project staff have been advised to confine themselves to their hostel rooms”.

“In case of any symptoms of Covid (fever, dry cough, sore throat, diarrhoea, loss of taste/smell, or any other symptoms) you are required to contact the IIT Madras hospital authorities immediately,” said the IIT Madras in a statement.

Nearly 770 students reside on IIT-Madras campus and samples of 408 students have been collected so far out of which 66 have tested COVID-19 positive. According to a report by news agency IANS, the cases were reported from nine student hostels and one guest house.

The officials said that the students who had returned to the campus were quarantined for two weeks, but the quarantining capacity is limited. Those who have been infected with coronavirus are progressing well, officials said.

Speaking about the incident, Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said that the common mess, where students get together, was the cause for the spread. He said that officials have been asked to conduct tests on everyone and the hotspots will be disinfected.

“Cause of the spurt whether due to mess or imported cases is being identified. Mask, handwashing, social distancing and other standard procedures are being monitored. IIT Madras management has been extending all cooperation and following the standard operating procedure,” he said while speaking to an English newspaper.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu on Monday reported 1,195 new COVID-19 cases and 12 new fatalities. The state health department said that 1,276 people have got cured from the contagion
totalling to 7.76 lakh so far.

Two districts, including the State capital and Coimbatore logged new cases in triple digits with Chennai adding 340, Coimbatore 115 while the remaining were spread across other districts, the state health department said.