Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on Thursday after reports of 50 current and retired staff of the university succumbing to COVID-19 surfaced. Yogi Adityanath is the first CM to visit the Aligarh Muslim University since its inception. The CM took stock of the situation after reports suggested the prevalence of a new variant of coronavirus in and around the campus. The visit to AMU was a part of CM Yogi Adityanath visiting Aligarh, Mathura and Agra to take stock of the COVID-19 situation.
Around 15 faculty members, 25 retired teaching faculty, 15 staff members, and 2 school teachers from AMU fell victim to the Chinese virus in the past 20-25 days. This led the Vice-chancellor Tariq Mansoor to write a letter to Balram Bhargava, director of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), urging him to undertake a probe suspecting a new variant of Covid-19 in the civil lines area of Aligarh where the AMU campus is located.
“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,” the VC said in his letter.
Starting his tour with the AMU, Yogi Adityanath met the Vice-Chancellor and others from the administration to review the current worrisome situation. He assured all possible help and required medical facilities for the staff of AMU.
After the staff of the AMU panicked after the reports of multiple deaths on the campus, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MP Kunwar Danish Ali wrote to Prime Minister Modi on Wednesday urging him to send a Central team to inspect and assist in the fight against the suspected new “virus variant” that is wreaking havoc in AMU.
“I, therefore, humbly request you to immediately send the central team to the AMU campus and provide medical assistance or allocate sufficient funds to Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College to fight the new Covid variant and save precious lives in the campus and surrounding areas,” Ali wrote.
The deaths also gave way to criticism and allegations on AMU administration for its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic especially after the head of medicine of Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College (JNMC), which is affiliated with AMU succumbed to Covid.
JNMC has also reported a shortage of medical staff to handle the crisis. The JNMC principal Prof Shahid Ali Siddiqi has however refuted the allegations of negligence.
The state of Uttar Pradesh reported 18,125 new cases of Covid-19 and 329 deaths on Wednesday.