Restrictions imposed at JNU non-teaching staff complex after 30 test positive for Covid-19
The university had restricted movement at the Saraswatipuram housing complex last week. JNU registrar Pramod Kumar said they had organised another testing camp with the south district administration’s help on July 23.Updated: Aug 06, 2020 01:10 IST
The South Delhi district administration on Wednesday organised a compulsory Covid-19 testing camp at a housing complex for non-teaching staff inside the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus after at least 30 residents tested positive for the virus in the last two weeks.
The university had restricted movement at the Saraswatipuram housing complex last week. JNU registrar Pramod Kumar said they had organised another testing camp with the south district administration’s help on July 23.
“Around 30 persons tested positive from Saraswatipuram, a housing complex for non-teaching staff. The district administration asked us to restrict movement in the complex completely. Some students have also tested positive. The university has sent them to AIIMS Jhajjar for quarantine.”
Kumar said at least 40 Covid-19 positive cases have been reported in the university to date, including both students and staff.
“Sawaswatipuram had majority of the cases because the children of many staff members work outside the campus,” he said.
In an order issued on July 29, Kumar said, “In view of the increasing number of cases of Covid-19 in the university, a visit was made by a Rapid Response team on July 24. The areas affected were Saraswatipuram, Poorvanchal, Paschimabad, and Dakshinapuram. Maximum clustering of cases were seen in block number 2, 5, 6 and 7 of Saraswatipuram and it has been decided to restrict the area. No moment should be allowed.”
The movement in the complex that has around 272 houses will remain restricted till August 11, the order said.
Pranjal Patil, sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) of Vasant Vihar, said the district administration had written to the university to restrict the area around Saraswatipuram. “The university had then requested us to conduct another round of antigen testing on Wednesday. We did not send any staff to the campus since university has its own security team and they are taking care of people quarantined at the campus. We are closely monitoring the situation,” she said.
As a precautionary measure, JNU has installed barricades at several locations in the housing complex and security guards are being assigned round the clock. “The university has given the responsibility of taking care of the residents at the complex to its security officials. We have shared the numbers of security personnel with the residents and they can directly contact them for groceries and other essential stuff,” the registrar said.
A senior security official at JNU, who wished not to be named, said, “The housing complex is like a small containment zone inside our campus. The security personnel are working round the clock to help residents. We make regular announcements requesting residents not to step out and maintain social distance at home as well.”
The university has advised students to avoid non-essential movement in the campus and asked residents aged above 60 and below 10 to stay indoors. Students have been advised against inviting outsiders.
On July 7, two students had tested positive in Periyar hostel, following which the hostel was sealed and around 50 students were isolated for 14 days. The hostel has now been de-sealed.