The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) campus in Ludhiana was closed as a precautionary measure till July 24 after two employees of the varsity tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Although classes were anyway being conducted online, but campus was open for administrative, and non-teaching work.
As per the latest orders issued by the varsity registrar, the campus will remain completely closed till July 24 and only “essential field activities” will be allowed, following “instructions/guidelines to prevent spread of Covid-19”.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Dr Rajinder Singh Sidhu, registrar, PAU, said, “One employee each from the business management department and estate office have tested positive.”
Earlier, the administrative block of the varsity (Thapar Hall), which houses the offices of the research directorate including that of the vice-chancellor, director research among others, was also open for administrative works and urgent meetings were being held but now Thapar Hall has also been closed. Sources in PAU said sanitisation work was on.
Meanwhile, sources in the PAU said that on July 10, a meeting was held at Abohar to discuss whitefly spread in the cotton crop, which was attended by several experts from PAU’s research and extension Ludhiana, Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) and other agriculture officials. After the meeting, one official from KVK Bathinda tested positive. Hence, all officials who attended the meeting were asked to self-quarantine.
Later, a senior assistant from the business department of PAU residing in campus, also tested positive and then the decision was taken to close the campus for all activities including administrative and non-teaching work as a precaution.
“Classes for students are ongoing as earlier. Only international students and those from other states are living in hostels. Mandatory research work is also ongoing as experimental crops in fields cannot be ignored, but all other works remain suspended. Entry to campus for outsiders has also been restricted,” said a faculty member.
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