The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay has suspended classes with immediate effect till March 29, in the wake of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The institute has informed campus residents that they have taken this decision under the advice of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) and after prolonged discussion with the management.
“All classroom and laboratory instructions are henceforth suspended till March 29, 2020. The situation will be reviewed continuously and appropriate decision on resumption of classroom and laboratory instructions will be intimated through email. Updates will be made available on the IITB homepage,” IIT Bombay Director Subhasis Chaudhuri said in a circular.
Further, all students have been encouraged to go home. In case a student wants to go home, he or she must inform the hall manager before leaving.
However, students having any difficulty in traveling may stay back. International students can also stay back in the hostels.
IIT Bombay also said that PhD and Masters' students engaged in thesis work can continue to stay in the campus and work towards their projects if they wish, provided they take adequate precautions.
For students who are planning to return to campus after being away due to internship or exchange programs or conferences, IIT Bombay has advised them to proceed to their respective homes instead.
The 24x7 Reading room in the IIT Bombay central library will also remain closed during this period.
Both, students and faculty members, who have returned to the campus in the last 14 days from any of the affected countries have to report at the IIT-B hospital for a mandatory health check-up.
“We are currently exploring alternate modes of delivery of courses and any decision on this will be informed in due course of time. Meanwhile, students are requested to stay in touch with their course instructors through emails,” the institute’s circular said. Campus residents have been advised to avoid inviting outside guests during this period.
Staff members commuting from off-campus have been 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.
Quarantine facilities are also being arranged in the campus and those displaying any COVID-19 symptoms have to immediately visit the campus medical facility.
In India, there have been 96 positive cases of COVID-19 so far. At least two deaths due to the infection have been reported. Several state governments like Delhi, Maharashtra and Karnataka have announced the shutdown of several non-essential facilities for the next few weeks.