COVID-19: 25 students of Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology in Odisha test positive
Official sources said all the affected students belonged to one hostel and one of them has been admitted to the COVID-19 hospital at the Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research
SAMBALPUR: Amid concern over the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in several states, at least 25 engineering students of Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology (VSSUT) in Burla have tested positive for the virus in the last two days.
Official sources said all the affected students belonged to one hostel and one of them has been admitted to the COVID-19 hospital at the Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR), Burla, for treatment. Fifteen others asymptomatic students have been isolated in a separate hostel building.
The rest of the students, who have mild symptoms, have been sent to their homes with their respective guardians. This apart, at least 50 more students with COVID-like symptoms have been isolated and their swab samples will be tested soon. Contact tracing of the infected students is also underway.
The varsity resumed offline classes for fourth year students from January 20, while offline classes for the remaining three years resumed from February 20.
The students returned to the hostels from their respective districts and states following resumption of classes. They were also allowed to move out of the campus. At present, there are over 1,500 students residing in four hostels in the varsity.
On February 25, the VSSUT authorities had issued a notice regarding a fourth year student who had tested positive for COVID-19 and advised some students to undergo self-isolation for 72 hours after they came in contact with the infected student. They were asked not to go out of the university and hostel premises.
While the source of infection is yet to be ascertained, it is suspected that the students might have contracted it from a local source after returning to the campus.
Sambalpur sub-collector Mayur Suryawanshi along with other officials of the district administration visited the VSSUT campus to review the situation on Saturday. "We discussed with the varsity authorities and instructed them to strictly implement the COVID-19 protocols on the campus to keep the virus spread at bay. We also asked them to make proper arrangements for isolation of students and decide over conduct of classes and examination,” said Suryawanshi.
As per another notice issued by the varsity on Saturday evening, all the classes will be conducted through online mode. However, the pending examination of the final year students will be held through offline mode strictly adhering to all the COVID-19 guidelines.
The decision of the varsity to conduct examinations offline has left the students disgruntled as they are concerned about their safety. The final year students have three papers left. The students alleged that enforcement of COVID-19 guidelines are not proper in the hostels and they are at a high risk of getting infected.
In-charge Vice Chancellor of VSSUT BB Pati did not respond to calls from The New Indian Express.