Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare and Joint Secretary (HE), MHRD has issued advisory for universities and colleges regarding preventive measures to be taken to combat the threat of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), as some cases of the virus have been reported in the country. Towards this, a coordinated and collective effort in a mission mode is needed, therefore all universities and their affiliated colleges are requested to take necessary precautions and follow the advisory given below to help in prevention/reduction of the transmission of the virus.
Universities and Colleges are advised to:
- Avoid large gatherings on campus.
- Any student/staff with travel history to any COVID-19 affected country or in contact with such persons in last 28 days, should be monitored and home quarantined for 14 days.
- Faculty should be alert towards any student with signs and symptoms i.e. fever, cough and difficulty in breathing and should immediately have the student tested.
- Till advised by the treating doctor the student should not join campus.
- Faculty staff and students should also be advised about simple public health measures of hand and respiratory hygiene.
Hand hygiene: Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap & water or use alcohol based hand sanitizer, even when hands are visibly clean.
Respiratory hygiene: Everyone should cover their mouth with a tissue handkerchief (or their sleeve if there are no tissues available) when they cough or sneeze and wash their hands afterwards.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Everyone should throw away used tissues in a bin and wash their hands after contact with coughing/sneezing.
Frequently touched surfaces — door knobs, switches, desktops, hand railings etc, should be disinfected.
- Provide alcohol based hand cleaners/sanitizers in frequented spots of the universities/colleges.
- Ensure availability of soap and water in rest rooms at all times.
- Foot operated pedal bins lined with plastic bag should be provided in each classroom & rest room.
- In hostels, health status of students as well as the other ancillary staff should be monitored on regular basis.
- In case, there are suspected cases, the authorized local medical authority should be called for examination.
- Anybody with signs & symptoms (cough, fever or difficulty in breathing) should call State/UT helpline number or Ministry of Health & Family Welfare’s 24X7 helpline at 011-23978046 or visit public health facility with a mask or mouth covered.
Mental Health & Well Being of Students during and after COVID-19 break
The University Grants Commission has been issuing regular advisories requesting HEIs to take all possible preventive and precautionary measures to ensure the safety and security of students, whether on campus in hostels or outside, as we confront the COVID-19 outbreak. During the period of national lockdown, it is equally important to address any kind of mental health and psychosocial concerns of the student community during and after COVID-19.
Therefore, in order to reassure the student community to avoid any kind of stress or panic in the prevailing situation vis-a-vis their studies, health and related issues, Universities and Colleges are requested to take the following measures for the mental health, psychosocial aspects and well-being of the students:
- Set up help lines for mental health, psychosocial concerns and well-being of students in Universities/ Colleges. To be regularly monitored and managed by Counsellors and other identified faculty members.
- Regular mentoring of students through interactions, and appeals/letters by the Universities/Colleges to remain calm and stress free. This can be achieved through telephones, e-mails, digital and social media platforms.
- Form COVID-19 help groups of students, headed by hostel wardens/senior faculty who can identify friends/classmates in need of help and provide immediate necessary help.