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16 AMU staff, ex-teachers die of COVID-19

A view of Aligarh Muslim University. File   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

After 16 of its faculty members, other employees and retired teachers living in the vicinity of the campus died of COVID-19, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has written to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) asking for an analysis of the samples to find out what was behind the surge.

In a statement on Sunday, AMU public relations officer Omar Peerzada said: “In order to analyse the severity of Covid-19 and its suspected new variant that wreaked havoc in Aligarh as many faculty members, retired teachers and other employees of the university succumbed to it, the samples collected at the ICMR approved COVID-19 testing laboratory of the Department of Microbiology, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, AMU have been sent for viral genome sequencing to the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi after suspicions of a new COVID variant fuelling the surge of Coronavirus cases in Aligarh.”

The statement said that the samples had been sent along with a letter by AMU vice-chancellor Prof. Tariq Mansoor to ICMR director general Prof. Balram Bhargava requesting him to order the concerned department to perform the analysis.

The V-C’s letter said: “This is to bring into your notice that 16 AMU faculty members, a number of retired teachers and employees in other categories, who were living in the university campus and adjoining localities have succumbed to COVID-19. This is giving rise to a suspicion that a particular viral variant may be circulating in the Civil Lines area of Aligarh in which AMU and many adjoining localities are situated.”

When asked about the high number of AMU staff who died of COVID-19, Mr. Peerzada said: “The university is deeply concerned with the death of its faculty members, including retired teachers and other employees. The list which is being circulated on social media includes the names of several retired faculty members who were residing outside Aligarh. Non-Covid deaths are also included in this list.”


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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 3:27:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/16-amu-staff-ex-teachers-die-of-covid-19/article34521091.ece

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