Over 160 Covid cases in a short span of time...This top institute in Chennai is now a Covid cluster!

After months of a steady decrease in Covid cases, Tamil Nadu has been witnessing a gradual surge in daily cases with the state government has been reinforcing the guidelines and protocols. In what has become a dreadful development, prominent institutions in Chennai have been turning out to be a Covid cluster after several students had tested positive for the pandemic. 

Earlier, hundreds of students at the Indian Institute of Technology - Madras (IIT-M) had tested positive for Covid, which has pushed the institute to impose stringent guidelines. Amid the challenges endured by the state health department over such institutional clusters, a top institute in Chennai has now become the latest Covid cluster as it has reported over 160 Covid cases in a short span of time. 

According to IANS, the Chennai campus of the Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) has come under the radar of the health department over the growing Covid cases within its premises. The campus sits on Kelambakkam on the outskirts of Chennai and it has around 15,000 students of which 5,600 are first-year students. The health department has conducted 4,092 RT PCR tests, of which 163 students have tested positive. 

As the tests will be carried out on Friday for thousands of students, the health department fears that the cases will increase. Speaking to IANS, Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian said, "The students, who had tested positive in the first two days, have tested negative for the infection and this is a welcome indicator. I have met the students most of whom are from north Indian states and have asked them not to worry and to reassure their parents." 

"The students are expected to recover within ten days and we have advised the institute not to declare a holiday", Ma Subramanian added by stating that 99% of cases on the campus were infected with Omicron sub-variants, mostly BA.2. The health minister further reiterated that the people must be careful and vigil and they should follow the Covid protocols including wearing masks and observing social distancing. 

It must be noted that Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan has already sent a circular to all the district Collectors of the state to be on alert against the increasing cases in various districts. The Collectors are instructed to ensure that people are adhering to Covid protocols. For the past few days, the daily cases in the state are breaching the 100-mark. As per the release from the health department, the state has reported 145 fresh cases, 63 discharges, and zero deaths on Thursday. Overall, the state had recorded 34,55,758 cases so far as of Thursday of which 711 are active, 34,17,022 people were discharged, and 38,025 had succumbed to the viral infection.