In a major relief to the management and students, the student of the National Institute of Technology (NIT) at Warangal in Telangana, who was suspected of being infected, has tested negative for the novel coronavirus.
The student had returned from the United States on March 1 after attending a conference. He was admitted to a private hospital on March 10 and later shifted to the state-run Mahatma Gandhi Memorial (MGM) hospital in Warangal after he complained of cold and fever.
Thanking the state government for its swift response, the institute said that it was sanitising all areas frequently visited by students, and would also make sanitisers and masks available to those who need it. Awareness drives are being conducted and students who were returning to the institute from outside Warangal are being tested, the university added.
Earlier in the week, the institute had said in a statement that the student had gone to his native place, Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh after returning from the US, before he returned to Warangal on March 8.
Meanwhile, in a precautionary move to check the spread of coronavirus, the Telangana government on Saturday ordered the closure of all educational institutions and banned public gatherings till March 31. However, various board examinations will be conducted as scheduled.
The government also announced the closure of cinema halls, pubs, bars, clubs, gyms, swimming pools, museums, zoo parks, indoor and outdoor stadiums. Shopping malls, supermarkets and shops will remain open to avoid inconvenience to people.
After a cabinet meeting on Saturday, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao told the media that all public events and sports events stood cancelled. The government also restricted the total number of guests to 200 at marriages already scheduled, while event halls were asked not to take new bookings until March 31.
The Chief Minister said no public meetings, seminars, workshops, rallies, exhibitions, trade fairs and cultural events would be allowed. He said the steps were precautionary in nature and there was no need for panic. The cabinet also sanctioned Rs 500 crore for measures required to check the spread of coronavirus.