(Photo by Manjunath Kiran / AFP)

Bengaluru: The coronavirus scare has hit the premier Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore, forcing it to postpone the annual convocation on March 20, a source said on Tuesday.

"In view of the Covid-19 outbreak and the advisories by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and the World Health Organisation to avoid large gatherings, we have decided to postpone the convocation 2020 scheduled for Friday, March 20," said IIM-B Director G. Raghuram in an internal mail, sourced by IANS, to the institute.

He said all the stakeholder groups were consulted and the postponing decision has been taken based on their inputs and subsequent deliberations, keeping in mind everybody's safety.

"I would also like to assure you that while we are geared to contain the spread of the virus on campus, we have taken this decision to avoid putting you and your family at risk, both due to travelling and large gathering," Raghuram said.

In February, the institute announced that Tata Sons Executive Chairman N. Chandrasekaran would be the chief guest at the 45th IIM-B convocation.

Raghuram said the respective course programme offices will get in touch with the students pertaining to the receipt of degrees in the mail.

Meanwhile, Covid-19 fears prompted IIM-B to ask its students who travelled abroad recently to visit the campus doctor immediately

"We have information that PGP 2 (MBA second year) students have visited foreign countries during the break. Such students are requested to visit the institute doctor immediately," said another internal mail on Tuesday sourced by IANS.

An IIM-B source confirmed to IANS that six students who would be passing out soon visited Holland via Italy recently.

"All those who have come in contact with people who have travelled abroad are also requested to visit the institute doctor for his advice," said the internal IIM-B mail.

Groups of students also visited Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Coorg, the source confirmed.

On Tuesday, the Karnataka Health Department declared four positive Coronavirus cases in Bengaluru, a family of three and another man with travel history to US via Dubai and London respectively.

The IIM-B offered the option of taking rest or working from home for people exhibiting symptoms such as cough, sore throat and fever.

It is also planning a round of sanitising the entire administrative building, classes and Management Development Centre (MDC) building on campus.

IIM-B has also made hand sanitisers available at public places within the campus and is sanitising the auditorium before and after events.

IIM-B is also subjecting all visitors to a body temperature check at the main gate and anybody showing signs of high body temperature are being referred to the doctor.

The institute has also cancelled and rescheduled some events with high outside people participation, said the mail with a copy to the director of the institute, Dean Administration M. S. Narasimhan and campus doctor Ravi Kumar.

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