The surging number of COVID-19 cases amongst the students turned the MIT Hostel Campus into a containment zone on March 17th has spiked up to making it a copious cluster of COVID-19.
This life-threatening epidemic slowly knocked into our lives and affected the lives of all the students. The return of students (MIC, MSAP, and DOC) from the MIT campus in December successfully proved that a slowly transitioned de-quarantine with strict adherence to guidelines could result in an active campus, a return to the new normal. Is this pandemic a result of our negligence? Or is the administration incapable to manage such a massive crowd of students?
Meanwhile, the students who are stuck inside the MIT Campus have been waiting around the clock to get out of the campus and return home. “It’s chill. Like you can go anywhere within the campus but not beyond hostel block 1. On the first day of lockdown on campus, the food court allowed only 2 people on one table” as per one of the students currently staying in MIT containment zone hostels.
As per The Indian Express, Dr Prashant Bhat, district Covid-19 nodal officer stated “We have already completed one round of testing among everyone who is at the campus as of now. The second round of testing, which includes contacts of Covid-19 cases are now underway.”
The MAHE administration took things into their hands after the MIT hostels were announced as a containment zone by testing all students residing in the hostels block-wise. “People who are showing symptoms have been housed in blocks for quarantine like block 10, Block 23 and New International Hostels”, as stated by one of the students.
The people who tested negative and want to go back home have to undergo “strict procedure.” After showing their negative RT PCR report they have to fill out a google form and get approval from the authorities. After the completion of the whole process, they are handed an Exit Pass to leave the premises. “A bus comes every hour to pick people up and drop them at the gate, so yeah a lot of people are leaving now and it’s slowly turning into the same Manipal as it was during the lockdown. It’s chaotic for the people who are leaving now” according to the students.
The students are attending online classes in such chaotic situations while the labs and exams are postponed till further notice. “It’s mentally exhausting” according to the students to be stuck in such situations and attend online classes simultaneously.
Meanwhile, the scenario in the Health Sciences Campus is opposite to this as students are having offline classes and few of students are even giving exams. According to students, “ we have to compulsorily wear face masks and gloves for giving the exams.” Most of these students have received the vaccine but there are few from the first year of MCHP who have vaccinated only the first dose of the vaccine. “We received only the first dose of vaccine on the 19th of March” as one of the MCHP first years stated. Is it safe for these students to continue with a new normal where only a few meters away stands the containment zone? “Students can do whatever they want outside the campus right? No one’s gonna control them” as said by one of the students.
Under all this situation the cases continue to skyrocket in the Health Sciences Campus as well. Although from the outside it might look like the new normal but matters are getting serious even there. Students who are tested positive are quarantined in quarantine blocks but few of them stay on the same hostel blocks. Is this going to repeat the same epidemic in the MIT Hostels or the Vaccine will shield this time?
We even tried contacting the MAHE administration but there was no information given from the authorities except the assurance that everything is getting under control and after a few days as things settle down the Campus will be the safest place to live in.
Feature Image: Swaroop Didi