Despite scare, employees asked to resume duties

Srinagar:  Panic has gripped University of Kashmir after four of its officials tested positive for COVID 19.

On June 28, a non-teaching employee working in Registrar’s office tested positive for the virus. A few days back a senior associate professor of the science department also tested positive. Similarly, a non-teaching employee and a senior assistant professor tested also positive for the virus.

All the officials have been put under quarantine. University authorities said all SOPs are being followed to prevent the infection from spreading.

Despite assurances, the varsity has issued a notification directing all the Deans, Heads, Directors, Coordinators, Officers of School, Examination wing to ensure 100% attendance of the staff with immediate effect. Besides, research scholars have also been asked to report to the university and complete their assignments.

Around 3000 teaching and non-teaching employees are working on Kashmir University’s main campus. Plus around 1000 research scholars are currently enrolled in the varsity.

“There will be a huge rush in the varsity. It is a scary situation.  All 3000 employees and their families are at risk,” said one of the officials preferring anonymity.

A professor, who is taking online classes, said the university is endangering the lives of employees by asking them to return to work. “What is the urgency to report to work when the virus is all around,” he said.

As public transport is off the roads, the research scholars, who come from far-flung areas, said they face difficulties to reach the university.  “I have to wait for hours to catch a Sumo cab to reach university.  I have to shell out Rs 400 daily to commute from Anantnag to university and back. When university cannot open hostels, how can they ask us to report to the campus?” asked a research scholar of the science department.

Shahid Rasool, Media spokesperson KU, said they want to resume research and academics since the lockdown has been eased throughout the country. 

“It is Unlock 1.0. We want to resume research and academics while following all safety norms. Employees, who tested positive and their contacts have been quarantined,” said  

Shahid noted those scholars facing difficulties can approach their guides. “There is no hard and fast rule for attendance. We are only trying to facilitate those who want to work in labs or libraries,” he said.

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