The medical superintendent of Jadavpur University has told the officiating vice-chancellor in a proposal that all students staying at hostels be asked to move out following a spurt in dengue on the campus.
Over 12 students staying at JU hostels are down with dengue. A student, who stayed at a private accommodation near the campus, died of dengue earlier this month.
The Calcutta Municipal Corporation had last Thursday served a notice on JU over its failure to take measures against mosquito breeding and given the authorities a week to take “effective measures”.
“The medical superintendent has said that the dengue situation is quite scary. She has said in a proposal that if the students are asked to vacate their hostels, it would help us contain the crisis. We don’t have infrastructure to take care of the affected students,” officiating VC Buddhadeb Sau told reporters.
“So we are contemplating sending the students home and hold online classes for them. The medical superintendent has given this proposal. Let the teachers give their opinion.”
The university had last conducted online classes during the pandemic-induced shutdown of campuses.
The medical superintendent has also proposed opening a fever clinic on the campus, JU registrar Snehamanju Basu told Metro.
The fact that the university is considering asking students to vacate their hostels and opening a fever clinic on the campus goes to show how scary the dengue situation has become in the absence of adequate measures to destroy mosquito-breeding sites, a teacher said.
Calcutta’s deputy mayor Atin Ghosh had asked the registrar while inspecting the campus on September 21 why adequate steps had not been taken to destroy mosquito-breeding sites. Entomologists say preventing mosquito breeding is the most critical step in combating dengue and other vector-borne diseases.
Ghosh, in the presence of the registrar, had asked a civic official to issue a notice to JU over its failure to dispose of garbage in two designated places on the campus.
The civic team came across mounds of garbage — packed with coconut shells, styrofoam boxes and pieces of junked furniture — on the 59-acre campus. All of these can turn into mosquito-breeding sites if water accumulates in them.
Following the prod, JU has taken some measures but the action seems to be too late given the spike in cases in hostels.
Registrar Basu said: “We are working on a war footing to deal with the dengue situation.... The deputy mayor has deployed their staff from the solid waste management department. Almost 90 per cent of the campus has been cleaned.”
Asked about the dengue situation at JU, education minister Bratya Basu said: “This is a matter that concerns the health department. The situation has been brought under control following a response from the civic body. If the authorities want, I can speak to the mayor.”