At least 34 faculty members of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) have died due to COVID-19 in the past 18 days, resulting in a panic among the varsity staff. In fact, vice-chancellor Tariq Mansoor has written to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) asking it to study the variant that is causing deaths in and around the varsity.
In his letter to ICMR, Mansoor said 16 serving and 18 retired teachers besides other employees of AMU have succumbed to the infection in the past 18 days.
There is a possibility that “a particular variant may be circulating in areas around the AMU campus and surrounding localities, which has led to these deaths”, he said, stressing the need for the study to control the spread of the virus.
Dean of Law died
Professor Shakeel Samdani, dean of the law faculty of AMU who was undergoing treatment at Aligarh’s Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College died on Saturday. He was a member of the executive committee of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board.
Samdani was admitted to the COVID ward of Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College 10 days ago. He was also suffering from diabetes and hypertension.
First COVID death on April 20
On April 20, the first death of a professor was recorded. All the deceased professors lived in different areas of Aligarh city. Earlier, medical department chairman professor Shadab Ahmed Khan (58 years) and computer department professor Rafiqul Zaman Khan (55 years) also succumbed to COVID-19.
At the same time, Umar Farooq, brother of the vice-chancellor, also died from COVID. He was a former member of the University Court and a member of the Mohammedan Educational Conference.
Samples sent to Delhi
Mansoor said the microbiology laboratory at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College here is sending samples to the Institute of Genomics and Integrated Biology laboratory, New Delhi, for genome sequencing.
Meanwhile, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College principal Shahid Ali Siddiqui said that 25 doctors at the hospital there tested positive for the viral infection in the past fortnight. Currently, only three doctors are under treatment as others have recovered from the infection, he said. Shortage of oxygen is also a major issue being faced in the treatment of COVID-19, Siddiqui added.
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