Published: 18th December 2020
What is life like in a ward full of COVID positive IIT Madras students? This is what a student said
More than 190 people in IIT Madras tested COVID positive in a span of a week. After a sudden spurt of cases, the institute is under lockdown, with all students quarantining in their rooms
The COVID ward of Chennai's King Institute of Preventive Medicine and Research for Rohan* does not seem very different from his hostel corridor. The occupant of each bed there is young and a student of IIT Madras — the institute where he is pursuing his PhD. All of them tested positive for the virus a few days ago. However, he does sounds a touch relieved as he tells us that everyone is stable.
"I'm happy with the treatment that we're receiving. I am not lonely here," he says. He tells us that he had a fever and body pain when he was admitted there on December 15. "That has subsided now. I am getting better. However, I am quite tired," he says. Rohan is one of the approximately 190 people in IIT Madras who tested COVID positive in a span of a week. After a sudden spurt in cases, the institute is under lockdown, with all students quarantining in their rooms. All COVID positive students are hospitalised. The institute had previously said in a statement that everyone is stable.
Rohan says that he got back to IIT-M from his home in Kerala only a few weeks ago. "My mandatory quarantine ended on December 11. After that, I had gone to the mess for two days to eat my meals," he says. The first COVID case in the institute was reported on December 9. "It was only on December 13 that we got to know that a few mess workers had tested positive. They locked down the institute the same day," he says.
While Rohan says that social distancing was properly maintained in the mess hall, he says that the institute could have opened another mess, when they got to know about the positive cases. "Even though the COVID protocols were maintained properly, there were chances of the virus spreading in that setting," he says,
Within the span of a few days, Rohan says that his condition has improved tremendously. But the idea of isolation and continuous quarantine is what he fears now. "I am tired of quarantining myself. I will have to do that for seven days even after testing negative and going back to the hostel. I am regretting coming back here now," he says. At the same time, he also expresses fear that another wave of the virus may hit the institute. "I may not test positive again. But if we're not careful, the others may test positive as soon as the lockdown is over," he says.
*Name changed on request