Eight more students of IIT-Madras have tested positive for coronavirus, pushing the total cases at the premier engineering institute to 191. The latest cases emerged after 141 people were tested yesterday amid a spurt in coronavirus cases at the institute this week.
Six students have tested positive for the virus at Anna University too.
Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said that the students are reported to be in stable condition.
IIT-Madras shut down its departments, centres, labs and the library earlier this week citing the spurt in coronavirus cases in hostels, according to an email to students that NDTV has accessed.
The Tamil Nadu government has intensified Covid testing on campuses and has ordered testing at all colleges and universities after the IIT-Madras cases. Close to 1,000 IIT students and mess workers have been tested so far.
Authorities blame it on the hostel mess. The IIT administration is now sending packed food to students at hostels. Other colleges and universities that have only one mess or dining hall too have been asked to give only take-aways to students in hostels.
Many colleges in Tamil Nadu have reopened for final year students following relaxation by the state government.
IIT-Madras has instructed faculty and students to work from home.
"Preliminary analysis based on our epidemiologist's report suggests that because only 778 students were there, eating from a single mess... That could perhaps be the main reason. 16 mess workers have also tested positive," Mr Radhakrishnan said.
"We are also focussing on other campuses where final year students and post graduates have joined. The honourable Chief Minister has ordered to ensure that RT-PCR testing should also be intensified in these campuses especially if they have just one mess or a common dining hall. We have suggested take-away food, just like at IIT," the top officer said.
Tamil Nadu on Tuesday logged 1,132 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 8,01,161 and the death count rose to 11,919 with 10 more fatalities.