COVID-19 storms TN institutions! Following IIT-M, six students at Anna University test positive!

In what could be a dreadful development, reputed Anna University in Chennai has now got the grounds of COVID-19 spread following IIT-M after the varsity, which is a top engineering institution in the state, has reported positive cases for the pandemic, days after IIT-M, which sits near Anna University, has been declared as the COVID-19 cluster, pushing the prestigious institute to shut down its operations. 

As IIT-M has reported 183 positive cases so far as of Tuesday in two weeks with more students contracted the virus, the state health department had stepped in to initiate measures in the educational institutions to curb the spread and the state government had directed all the varsities to test the students who have returned to the campuses following its resumption. 

Anna University has carried out the measures for testing for the viral infection and according to reports, six students in the Anna University had tested positive on Wednesday, which had shocked the management and the rest of the institutions which are gearing up for the new academic year. The dean of the university said that all these six students were asymptomatic. The reports say that the cases could increase in the varsity and following the development, all the universities in Chennai and across the state have been pacing the measures to carry out aggressive testing.

The institutions have also been reviewing the preparedness and measures that are already in place to contain the spread. According to reports, Anna University's College of Engineering Guindy and Madras Institute of Technology, Chrompet are housing over 1,200 students in their respective campuses after the state government had re-opened the classes for final year UG students last week. 

The reports say while some institutions are screening their students for COVID-19 symptoms, others are mandating the outstation students to go under a 14-day quarantine before attending their classes. Anna University's College of Engineering Guindy has decided to organize the camp to test the students with symptoms and the hostel wardens had given counseling for the students on Monday. Madras University had started screening the students after the Indian Institute of Technology - Madras had become a COVID-19 cluster. 

Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan had reviewed the situation in IIT-M during which he revealed that six students from Anna University had tested positive for the viral infection. As of Tuesday, a total of 514 IIT-M students have been tested of which 183 had spelled positive for the virus. The institute has been witnessing the virus spread for the past two weeks when more students return to the premises. The management of the institute had shut down its operations and closed academics, departments, labs, and libraries. 

The fresh cases at the IIT-M include both the students and staff and the institute has said that the next round of tests will be conducted after ten days. The officials in the IIT-M had divulged that majority of those infected were residents of two hostels - Krishna and Jamuna. Till Sunday, IIT-M had 71 cases of which 66 were students, four mess workers, and one faculty and in two days, the institute had recorded a big jump by adding over a hundred cases to its tally. 

As IIT-M is under complete lockdown, it has been reported that the overcrowding of students in a common mess is the epicenter and reason behind the widespread viral infection. Students say that there was just one mess on the campus due to the fewer strengths of students and when more of them had returned after the resumption, the mess has got overcrowded as the institute has got only one mess in operations. As they won't wear masks in the mess, they all become susceptible. Speaking to the reporters after visiting the institute, Radhakrishnan had on Monday said that the state must stay vigil as IIT-M is a lesson for everyone and appealed to the people to adhere to the guidelines. The reports say with the TN colleges are carrying out tests, the state is likely to witness more COVID-19 clusters.