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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Covid-19: IISc Bengaluru opens testing facility after 19 people on campus test positive

Officials added that the Institute is in the process of contacting hospitals in the city to help manage dedicated Covid care centres for mild and asymptomatic patients, and for more serious cases being treated at hospitals.

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bengaluru | Updated: August 4, 2020 9:42:37 am
Containment measures and safety precautions have been enhanced in the campus after 19 people living on IISc campus, including students, faculty, staff, and their family members, contracted coronavirus infection as of July 31. (File)

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru has set up a dedicated Covid-19 testing facility for fast detection of coronavirus infection among people living on its campus. The premier science institute had obtained the approval to set up the in-campus lab from the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

“IISc. has got approval from BBMP to start a sample collection facility for COVID-19 testing and for testing the samples at IISc’s COVID-19 test centre to obtain results quickly,” Deputy Registrar Veeranna Kammar said in a press statement.

Officials added that the Institute is in the process of contacting hospitals in the city to help manage dedicated Covid care centres for mild and asymptomatic patients, and for more serious cases being treated at hospitals.

Meanwhile, containment measures and safety precautions have been enhanced in the campus after 19 people living on IISc campus, including students, faculty, staff, and their family members, contracted coronavirus infection as of July 31.

Also read | For workplaces ready to reopen, IISc has an online self-assessment tool

“On retesting within a few days of the first test, 12 out of the 15 COVID-19 positive students who stay in the hostels have tested negative. Most of them have been found to be asymptomatic and are being treated in a COVID care centre managed by the campus health centre doctors. All measures according to the protocol specified by BBMP have been taken and the containment protocol is in place with respect to disinfection and sanitisation of hostels and departments to which the patients belong to,” IISc clarified in a statement.

Another 34 people associated with the Institute — pensioners and employees who live off-campus — have also tested positive. Officials added that a dedicated committee, comprising faculty members, students, staff and medical officers from the institute’s health centre, has been monitoring the situation constantly.

Vehicles disinfected at entry points, students in hostel asked to dine in rooms

While most members of the IISc community are encouraged to work from home due to the ongoing pandemic situation, entry into the campus is being strictly monitored, Kammar claimed.

“At the gates, vehicles are thoroughly disinfected, each person’s body temperature is checked, and they are asked to clean their hands thoroughly with hand sanitiser, he said.

Meanwhile, social distancing measures in place within the campus have restricted dining in at hostel mess facilities. “Instead, students are asked to take their food to their hostel rooms in their own lunch boxes,” officials added.

In the event of a student residing in a hostel building within the campus contracting the infection, arrangements are being made to provide food and essential items for residents after sealing off the floor concerned of the patient’s residence, Kammar said.

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