IIT, Bhubaneswar campus 'COVID-19 free': Director

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Bhubaneswar, Mar 29 (PTI) The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bhubaneswar claimed that its campus is completely 'COVID-19 free' though some coronavirus cases have been detected in the isolated quarantine centre.

So far the campus has been COVID free except for 5 cases in September, 2020 and now some in the isolated quarantine centre, IIT, Bhubaneswar, Director, Prof RRV Rajakumar said in a statement on Sunday.

The statement said IIT Bhubaneswar nurtures preservation of academic life despite the pandemic prevailing around by maintaining safety measures to the entire fraternity.

It said the institute has invited students also to the campus to have hands-on experimentation with the practical classes, while the regular teaching is going through the online process.

The students are being brought to the campus in phase-wise process and so far IIT, Bhubaneswar have about 50 per cent of senior undergraduate and postgraduate students on campus with 100 per cent of research students, it said.

Anticipating that a few of the incoming students from across the country would carry COVID cases, the authorities have made a prior RT-PCR test and 15 days quarantine mandatory. Only after quarantine period, the incoming students are allowed to mix with the mainstream students.

During the quarantining period, the student health is monitored and food is delivered in isolated room of a student, it said, while describing the measures taken to prevent spread of the infection in the campus.

In the first three batches, there was not even a single COVID case reported while in the 4th batch that arrived at the quarantine centre of the institute from March 20 to March 22, three students' tested COVID-19 positive after their arrival.

All in the entire floor of the quarantine centre were tested and 7 more students (mainly because of travelling /contacting the first three) were found positive. All 10 students are now in the isolation centre of the institute and are being taken care of, the statement said.

'In view of the positive cases upon entry, the institute postponed the arrival of next batch of students scheduled for April 4. The institute is not anticipating anymore cases in the quarantine centre and certainly not in the mainstream, because of the strict observation of the COVID safety protocols and SOP,' the director said.

Other than the isolation and quarantine centre, the institute is free of COVID and everything has been functioning normally including the construction activity, the statement said, adding that the director inspected the construction sites on Sunday.

On Sunday, Khurda District Collector Sanat Mishra said 'Samples of 40 students of IIT, Bhubaneswar were tested through RT-PCR. Ten test results were found positive'. PTI AAM RG RG