As a preventive measure against the spread of coronavirus, the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai (IIT-Bombay) on Saturday encouraged all students to go home with the suspension of all classroom and laboratory instructions till March 29. All the students studying at the IIT-Bombay and residing on the campus have been asked to go home while those having any difficulty in travelling are permitted to stay back. International students are being allowed to stay back in the hostels.
On Saturday, IIT-Bombay authorities issued a circular, informing students residing on the campus of the steps to be taken due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The circular stated, “All students are encouraged to go home. The students who are planning to return to campus after being away due to internships, exchange programmes or conferences are advised to proceed to their respective homes directly instead of returning to campus. Students pursuing PhD and master's programme engaged in thesis work may continue to stay on the campus and work towards their projects if they wish, provided they take adequate precautions.”
With the suspension of all activities, the circular further stated the students will be intimated through email about the resumption of classes and laboratory instructions. It also directed students, faculty and staff members or their relatives who returned to the campus recently (in the last 14 days) from any of the affected countries to report to the IIT-Bombay Hospital for an immediate health check-up.
Meanwhile, the institute is exploring alternate modes of delivery of courses. A professor said, “Students can stay in touch with their course instructors through email for further instructions. Staff members commuting from off-campus are advised to work from home wherever possible, provided the working of the particular unit does not suffer. However, staff members working for essential services shall continue to attend to their duties as it is being done currently.”
The institute has arranged adequate quarantine facilities on the campus, said Subhasis Chaudhuri, the IIT-Bombay director.
Chaudhuri said, “Anyone showing symptoms of possible viral infection must report to our hospital without any delay. All campus residents are requested to limit their outings to essentials only and avoid inviting outside guests during this period.”
Security personnel have not permitted leave but have been instructed to wear masks and hand gloves at all entry points.