After students, staff request VC for help, Pondicherry University to set up COVID care centres on campus

PU students and staff had requested the VC to take stock of the situation and set up COVID care centres on campus as soon as possible
Pondicherry University
Pondicherry University

Pondicherry University on Tuesday announced that it will set up a temporary COVID care centre on campus. This was after several requests from students and non-teaching staff to provide theatre and lecture halls at the varsity for patients in the UT as well as for people working at the university. The setting up of these facilities were demanded owing to an acute shortage of hospital beds in Puducherry owing to a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases.

A statement from the university confirmed that Vice-Chancellor Gurmeet Singh has agreed to set this up after obtaining approval from the Lt Governor of Puducherry and Chief Rector of Pondicherry University. "The university has insisted to allot the sufficient number of beds and special wards to the faculty, staff and students of Pondicherry University on a priority basis for treatment, whenever required," the statement read.

Last week, on May 15, the Pondicherry University Students' Council wrote to the VC pointing out that they have already lost several members of the PU community. Several teaching and non-teaching employees of the university are still battling COVID-19 and thus it is deemed necessary that the varsity sets up a COVID care centre on campus. "There is an urgent requirement for a COVID care centre inside the university. Since the provision of the Disaster Management Act has been promulgated in this emergency situation, we believe, Pondicherry University must make use of available resources and extend help to the people. It is imperative that this is done on an urgent basis since a lot of our PU staff lives in small housing spaces and is unable to isolate themselves or their family members in case of an infection," P Parichay Yadav, President of PUSC wrote in their official statement.

The PU non-teaching staff welfare association had also written a letter to the Vice-Chancellor last week asking for these facilities to be set up as soon as possible. The welfare association wrote that theatre halls and lecture halls which are available in the Department of Performing Arts and Lecture hall complex (Science block) respectively could be converted to COVID inpatient wards as a temporary measure by the government of Puducherry. They also stated that if this is done, it will not affect PU's mainstream university system as "they are located sufficiently away from the critical usage area."

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