Published: 18th December 2020
IIT Madras trashes mess overcrowding claims made by students as the reason for the spurt in COVID cases, everyone on campus to be tested
Previously, students had alleged that the institute's decision to open a single mess for all students had caused a spurt of COVID cases
IIT Madras has denied all allegations about COVID protocols not being followed in their mess. The institute, according to its spokesperson, allowed only 100 students in a hall with a seating capacity for 400 people in a 30-minute-long slot. Previously, student sources had told that the institute had opened only one mess for 700 students and this had caused a rapid spread of COVID-19 in the institute, which is currently under lockdown. Around 190 people have tested positive in the last week.
"The Institute has assigned 100 students per 30-minute slot in a hall with 400 seating capacity. The Institute is operating multiple dining halls. There is one caterer cooking the food when the total number of students was less than 600, and recently the Institute has hired a second caterer," reads its statement.
At the same time, the authorities are still unsure about what caused the spurt of cases in the IIT. "The Health Department and the institute are investigating this," said the institute spokesperson in an email. "On December 9, the Institute had three cases from one hostel, and the institute had immediately asked for a ramp-up of testing," it reads. According to them, around 75 students were tested on December 9 and after seeing a spike of cases, on December 12, it had decided to test all students and the hostel and mess staff.