Students and faculty at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) in Powai have been advised by the administration to not venture off campus due following a surge in COVID-19 cases within its walls over the past two weeks. These restrictions have been imposed to prevent any further spread. It has been speculated that the cases may have been caused by going to an off-campus saloon, a claim not denied by the IIT-B administration.
When asked if the move is a mandate or simply an advisory the IIT-B spokesperson said, “It would not be appropriate to call it a restriction. We have advised campus residents to avoid traveling and to adhere to COVID protocol in wake of a second wave.” The administration official went on to say, “We urge students, teachers and staff not to go out.”
An IIT-B Coronavirus prevention team is currently working to contact trace and identify the origin and extent of the spread on campus. A member from the contact tracing team told this correspondent on the condition of anonymity that, “A student, staff or faculty member may have contracted the virus after going to a saloon outside the campus.”
Several students and faculty members had returned to campus following a steady decline in Coronavirus numbers in Mumbai. However, with second wave concerns all governmental organisations are once again on the back pedal with active measures being proposed in the backdrop of the Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s talks of a low economic impact lockdown and ongoing night curfews. The IIT-B administration has issued the following guidelines; students entering the campus from outside are to be segregated for 10 days and social distance is to be strictly followed.
This rule is likely to be applicable on campus at least until the virus risk is reduced. Other rules like wearing face masks continue to remain in place with penalties levied for violators. The spike in Coronavirus numbers has prompted the state government to take drastic measures to curb the spread. This development is another move to contain the scourge of the pandemic the country’s financial capital and its premier academic institutions.
The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M) will hold its Research Scholars Day from April 2 to 4 online. The annual festival, the theme of which is “Shunya: Nanos to Cosmos”, will feature 40 events, including lectures, competitions, workshops and a research expo.