Chennai: The Chennai Corporation has lifted 6,344 samples from students in colleges and hostels within city limits following the cluster of COVID-19 cases in the IIT-Madras and the nearby Anna University campus.
So far, 210 samples have returned positive from the 6344 and 3733 are negative. Whereas, 2361 samples are being processed and their results are awaited.
Samples have been collected from across the 15 zones that are under the control of the Chennai civic body. At last count, 191 persons at IIT-Madras were tested positive and and six students had tested positive at the Anna University.
The emerging clusters in higher educational institutions and hostels come at a time when many states are contemplating the resumption of high schools and colleges in the conventional mode.
Making a mention of a single common dining area that possibly led to the rapid spread of infection on IIT campus, Tamil Nadu Health Secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan said on Wednesday that people must follow mask-wearing irrespective of whether they were in a family function or in a public event or group discussion. He added that the Education Department had instructed the college authorities to provide take-away food service or to deliver food in the hostel rooms.
According to Radhakrishnan, the infected staff and students of IIT are stable and are being continually monitored, provided quality treatment. Urging the educational institutions to pay heed to the health Department’s caution, he said that fines would be imposed on violators under the Public health Act and Epidemics Act.
IIT-M has been functioning on limited capacity with only 10 per cent students in the hostels. According to the institute, they have asked all students to remain in their rooms and are supplying packed food in the rooms. On Thursday, Tamil Nadu saw 1,174 new Covid-19 cases and 1,214 persons being discharged, thus taking the active cases to 9,829. The state has so far seen 8.03 lakh positive cases and 11,942 deaths.