The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of us. The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) is no exception, and would therefore like to provide clarity about the situation prevailing on its campus. As of 31 July 2020, 19 people living on IISc campus including students, faculty, staff, and their family members have tested positive for COVID-19. 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 sanitization of hostels and departments to which the patients belong to. Pensioners and employees who live off-campus have also been affected and about 34 of them have been tested positive. BBMP implements the containment protocol outside the campus.
Further, at the Institute, the following proactive efforts have been taken to handle the COVID-19 situation:
- A dedicated committee at the Institute monitors the COVID-19 situation constantly. The members of the committee comprise faculty members, students, staff and medical officers from the Health Centre of IISc.
- IISc has obtained approval from the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (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. It is also in the process of contacting hospitals to help manage the dedicated COVID care centres on campus for mild and asymptomatic patients, as well as for more serious cases being treated at hospitals.
- All departments are staffed and working according to the Unlock 3.0 guidelines issued by the MHA along with GoK guidelines, with effect from Aug 1, 2020. All safety norms of reopening and working in labs are being followed.
- Entry into IISc is strictly monitored. At the gates, security and safety protocols are followed rigorously. Unauthorised visitors are not allowed into the campus and many members of the Institute community are being encouraged to work from home. Anyone entering the campus has to produce a valid ID and state the reason for their entry. Even during lockdowns announced by the government, only those with a valid “COVID Pass” were allowed inside. 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.
- At the hostels, strict physical distancing measures are being implemented. Dining at the mess is restricted, and students are asked to take their food to their hostel rooms in their own lunch boxes. Common areas are cleaned and sanitised regularly. Arrangements are made to provide food and essential items for residents when a floor is sealed in the event of a student testing positive.