IIT tells staff to self-quarantine after researcher who stayed at guest house tested positive
The 33-year-old researcher had recently returned from Italy. He was tested positive for coronavirus in Bhubaneswar on March 16, 2020.Updated: Mar 18, 2020 01:00 IST
The Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-D) on Tuesday said a 33-year-old researcher who had recently returned from Italy and tested positive for Covid-19 in Bhusbaneswar, had stayed at one its guest houses between March 7 and 8. During his stay at the guest house, the person had come in contact with eight staff members “directly or indirectly”, IIT officials said.
In an email sent to students and faculty members on Tuesday night, IIT-Delhi Dean (Infra) KC Iyer and Associate Dean (Infra) JT Sahu said, “It has come to our notice today that one guest from Milan, declared asymptomatic of Covid-19 at the airport screening centre on March 6, 2020, but advised home isolation for 14 days, had stayed in Gulmohar (Faculty Guest House) from March 7 afternoon to March 8 morning in room no. 209. As per the newspaper report, he tested positive on March 16 at Bhubaneswar and was moved to an isolation ward there.”
The institute said that from check-in time till check-out, the researcher had come in contact with eight staff members. “Later, two more guests stayed in the same room from between March 9 and 13, but they checked in only after 24 hours of the check-out of the Covid-positive researcher. The room is vacant since then,” the IIT-D said in the email.
“Till now, no staff or guest of the Gulmohar (guest house) has reported any symptoms,” it added.
The institute has requested the host faculty to instruct the two guests who stayed from March 9 to 13 to undergo self-quarantine. “Also, as advised by chief medical officer (CMO) of IIT-D, 10 recently appointed faculty members who are staying in Gulmohar are being asked to self-quarantine. For the eight Gulmohar staff (who came in contact with the researcher), we tried our best to get them tested at the hospital today but none of the helpline numbers were working. However, we are hopeful that we will be able to get the staff tested tomorrow (March 19),” IIT-D said in the mail.
“In the meantime, as a precautionary measure and as advised by the CMO, IIT Delhi, these eight staff members have been directed to self-quarantine at home, starting today for 14 days and they have been granted special leave during the quarantine period,” it added.
The IIT-D said that most of these staff are contractual and their employers have also been informed about the decision.
The IIT-D said that the SDM (South Delhi) might take over Gulmohar in a day or two for quarantine of general public. “Due to this, around 10-12 new faculty staying in Gulmohar have been asked to shift to Amaltas (guest house). Hence, we have stopped taking new bookings for both Amaltas and Gulmohar till further instructions. We have also cancelled all bookings,” the institute said.