Students vacate hostels, PG accommodations amidst Covid-19 fears

Published on Mar 17, 2020 08:58 PM IST
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LUCKNOW Fear of Covid-19 has hit university hostels and paying guest (PG) accommodations in Lucknow. In the past few days, several students have left these places, while many who had been out for the Holi vacation haven’t returned.

Vinay Singh, a BSc second year student in Habibullah Hostel at LU, got a call from his father in Sitapur on Tuesday. “My father sounded very worried about cornonavirus spread and asked me return home for a few days,” Singh said, as he sat behind two other friends on a scooter outside the gate of the hostel for their journey to Sitapur.

“Jaan hai to jahan hai… aap sabne padha hi hoga. Kuchh din ke liye jaan bachane jaa rahe hain (The world matters only when you are alive. You must have read about it. We are returning home for a few days to save our lives),” said Vinay’s friend Deepak as he revved the up the scooter’s engine.

Many rooms remain locked inside the hostel. Some are of students who hadn’t returned after Holi, while others left the hostel recently.

Those who have stayed back, limit themselves to their rooms, taking precautions to avoid infection.

“I have bought a hand sanitiser and a liquid handwash . I wash my hands regularly and spend most of the time inside my room,” said Tushar Kumar of Varanasi who lives in Mahmoodabad Hostel of LU.

The university suspended all educational activities, including examinations, as per the directives of the state government.

But for now, hostels are not being vacated. DurgeshSrivastav, LU spokesman, said: “We are keeping a watch and acting as per the directives issued by the government.”

Hostels in other universities, including (BBAU) Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University and research institutes, have also been vacated by inmates.

Students living in PG accommodations are also home bound. Mohd Nooruddin, a NEET aspirant from Gorakhpur, vacated his room in Narhi on Tuesday.

“My parents are worried about the infection, so I decided to leave the PG accommodation.” The NEET exam is scheduled in May and students are worried that Covid-19 outbreak would affect their preparations.

One Kalyan Singh from Siddharthnagar, who lives in a hostel in Narhi, said: “I have to leave for my village tomorrow. My preparation will be affected because we don’t get round-the-clock electricity at home.”

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