Published: 07th May 2020
As Chennai's COVID-19 cases spike, Madras University hostel students are desperate to get home
Over the last two weeks, the cases in Chennai have contributed to a majority of the cases. On May 6 alone, over 300 people tested positive for the virus
The exponential spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in Chennai has left residents worried and scared. A group of students at the Taramani campus hostel of the University of Madras are also just as worried. Even though they didn't mind staying at the hostel during the first two lockdowns, having to stay put for the third one too has left them anxious.
The students had online classes for the first two weeks, Andrew*, a student from Kerala said. Since then they have just kept themselves busy with a host of other activities. But after the Centre extended the lockdown for a second time they began to get perplexed. More so, because the cases have seen a constant rise over the last few weeks. "The situation is getting really bad here in Chennai and besides students from other districts, there are also students here from Kerala, Maharashtra, North India and the North East. We are worried and feel it is better to go back home, our families also are worried because of how bad things are here," he said.
Over the last two weeks, the cases in Chennai have contributed to a majority of the cases. On May 6 alone, over 300 people tested positive for the virus. The students have been warned against going outside the hostel too, since there are cases in the region as well. "Of course the administration wants to keep us safe but its difficult to continue staying here and watching things get worse," he said.
Andrew* and several other students have already registered for passes but have no transport to take them home, "We have also written to all the state government of our home states asking them to arrange transport but we are being told that it would be unsafe to travel in public transport during this time especially when there are so many cases around," he added.
Arumugam*, a hostelite from Erode says that the rising numbers are also worrying him but he's not stressed out about it, "Everybody is scared because the cases are suddenly so high now. But we otherwise have no problem in the hostel, we're being taken care off. Many students initially left to their hometowns, others who could manage to get cars and drive also applied for passes and left as well. But some were worried about going back because they felt they would be quarantined in their home states," he explained.
Initially, many students were not sure about what was going to happen, so they though they'd stay back and finish up their exams, "Now that they know that the exams are going to get postponed to July or August, they want to go back home," he added.