Delhi: St Stephen’s College a hotspot after 17 students, some staffers test Covid-19 positive | Delhi News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Delhi University’s St Stephen’s College has become a Covid-19 hotspot with 17 students and staff members testing positive for the disease. The teachers alleged that this occurred following a “chapel trip” of students to Dalhousie.
Sources said the college took a group of students during the mid-semester break to Dalhousie from where they returned on March 31. The hostels were opened for students on January 10. As a few stayed back in the hostel, 25 of them were taken for the trip. They were tested after they developed symptoms of the disease. Even a dean, mess steward and security staff reportedly tested positive.
A student, on the condition of anonymity, said, “Students were taken on the annual trip like every year. Till Friday afternoon, 17 people had tested positive. The college hasn’t issued any notice regarding the matter.”
Associate dean Chinkhalun Guite on Friday issued a notice saying, “All residence junior members who are currently on leave are hereby advised to stay home till further notice.”
Teachers who live on the campus or outside are a worried lot as blended learning is going on in the college. A member of the governing body wrote to principal John Varghese and Delhi University raising questions on the matter.
The letter mentioned, “In light of reports coming in from students, non-teaching faculty members and some officials, I would like the following information from you. Have some hostel students tested Covid-positive after April 1? Is it true that two officials had accompanied a large group of hostel students on a trip to Dalhousie in the last week of March? Why was this trip organised during the pandemic? Was the trip authorised by the principal and was the consent of parents taken for it?”
It was also asked in the letter whether permission was taken from the university and Delhi government for organising the trip. The GB member also asked why the college authorities hadn’t informed the students, teachers and employees about the large number of Covid-positive cases on the campus. “Is withholding information about the presence of positive cases not a violation of Covid protocol?” he further asked.
Varghese did not reply to the email sent by TOI. However, a message sent by a college official to the teachers stated, “It is a little delayed, but I would request everyone’s cooperation regarding our present situation. At present, we have 12 students and two staff members who are Covid-positive. The college is under strict lockdown till Monday.”
The note to the teachers staying on the campus asked them not to have guests from outside. “Domestic workers can be given permission through the dean’s office. The inner campus is out of bounds till further notice,” it added.

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