Indian universities, colleges shut down again because of COVID-19 spike

by | Apr 12, 2021 | International

NEW DELHI — Universities across the country shut down yet again as many states imposed nightly curfews to stem the sudden increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.

India recorded 152,879 new cases on April 10, the most number of cases recorded by any country worldwide. The sudden increase in cases has led to colleges and universities to close after reopening in January after a decrease in the number of cases.

“I remember I left for my university in January when they decided to conduct exams and practicals in an offline manner,” said Tarush Gupta, a Welcome Group Institute of Hotel Management student in Manipal, Karnataka. “In three months, they have had to shut down the college and send us back home and go back to an online approach.”

However, some universities had also given their students an option if they wanted to attend classes physically or through online methods. Students of National Institute of Fashion and Technology in New Delhi, had an option to attend classes either online or physically when their college decided to re-open from March 1.

“As fashion students, sometimes it is essential for us to go to college to use the resources such as sewing machines and lab work, so having that option gives us a sense of freedom to only go to college when it’s absolutely necessary for us,” said Ritika Mathur, a NIFT New Delhi student.

There are a lot of factors that can be the reason for a sudden spike in the COVID-19 cases in the country. Re-opening of bars and restaurants and the lack of the proper precautions being followed in public places has been the main reason for this increase.

“Re-opening of clubs and bars was probably not the right decision, given these are the places where the virus can spread the most and are also the places where youngsters are most likely to not follow any guidelines that have been set up by the government,” said Anita Thakur, a vaccine patient in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

In order to contain the spread and get the numbers in control, the Delhi regional government has imposed a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. with only residents with special privileges and those who have an e-pass to be outside. The same has been done by the state of Maharashtra, which has seen the largest spike in the number of cases in the past month.

The states of Rajasthan, Odisha, and Gujarat have also imposed the same restrictions.

With the sudden increase in cases, India has now overtaken Brazil and is now the second-worst hit country with a total of 13.5 million cases recorded all over the country. The state of Maharashtra is the worst-hit state, having a total of 3.41 million cases.

Health Minister Satyander Jain has said there is no possibility of a lockdown in Delhi yet, recalling how much the economy took a hit this time last year, when a national lockdown was announced by the central government.