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COVID-19: Colleges urge hostel residents to return home

Some are making an exception for students from distant places

Worried about COVID-19 spreading to resident students, colleges and universities are encouraging their faculty to conduct classes online if it is feasible. Many are also urging students to return to their homes.

This comes in the wake of a students and staff member at Maharani Cluster University testing positive. Vice-chancellor Gomathi Devi L. said that they have asked first and third semester students, who reside in hostels, to return home. “Their term ended on Thursday. We asked students to go back home. We have instructed lecturers to conduct classes online if portions have not been completed,” she said.

She added that a few students who have examinations and some students who have come from North Eastern States have been allowed to stay back. Examinations for first and third semester students will commence on April 5.

K.R. Venugopal, Vice Chancellor, Bangalore University said that they have asked students who live 40 kilometres from their campus to return home if possible. “We have told students that if it is convenient for them, they should go back to their residences. Only outstation students should stay on campus,” he said.

Colleges and hostels have also tightened protocols.

K.N. Subramanya, principal of R.V. College of Engineering, said that they plan to increase the frequency of testing. “We would earlier conduct random RT-PCR tests on our faculty and students every 20 days. Now we have decided to conduct tests every two weeks,” he said.

Students and student organisations say that while cases in Bengaluru are on the rise, conducting classes and examinations in other districts is probably safe at the moment.

Sithara H.M., Bengaluru district president, All India Democratic Students’ Organisation (AIDSO), said that colleges and universities should adopt a wait and watch policy so that both students’ health as well as their academics are not affected adversely.

Students wear PPE kit

Four final year students of Maharani Cluster University appeared for the examination on Friday with PPE kit as they were primary contacts of a student who had tested positive for COVID-19.

Gomathi Devi L., Vice Chancellor of Maharani Cluster University Bengaluru, said that BBMP had made arrangements for an ambulance and told students to wear a PPE kit. They appeared for the examination in separate rooms. The COVID-19 test of the four students later revealed that they were negative.

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