–Regular presence of infected staff on campus endangers lives
ISLAMABAD: At a time when the federal and provincial governments are making all-out efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the administration of Pir Mehr Ali Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR), has thrown the caution to the wind, putting the lives of staffers and students at stake, Pakistan Today has learnt.
The university has become a coronavirus hot spot due to non-compliance of health-related guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs), as the university administration is forcing the staff members, including those showing symptoms, to ensure their presence on campus.
A member of the staff who wishes to remain anonymous said that the administration is playing with the lives of the students as well as of the staffers, adding that coronavirus positive cases have been reported from various departments of the university, including Environmental Sciences, Economics, Agriculture, and Livestock departments.
The staffer lamented that the newly-appointed Assistant Professor Muzamil, who tested positive three days ago, was seen roaming freely in the university and was mingling with people.
“The administration is so powerful and strong that no one even can dare to speak about the alarming situation due to possible ramifications,” he added.
Due to the surge in cases across the country, all educational institutions had been ordered to close from November 26, 2020. PMAS administration, however, asked 50 per cent of its staffers to ensure their presence.
PhDs and MPhil students were also asked to come to the university, while BS/BSc and MS/MSc students would not attend classes.
The sources said that the PhD and MPhil students would use labs, where they would be more exposed to the virus.
The anonymous staffer alleged that the university attempted to bury information regarding the spread of the virus, and suggested that the administration should be asked to take precautionary steps in the residential colonies as well.
The circular issued by the university, a copy of which is available with Pakistan Today, reads, “As per decision, no faculty/staff member will leave the station without approval from his/her competent authority.”
When contacted for his comment, Registrar Aqeel Sultan refused to discuss the issue and said that no such information would be shared.