According to media reports, 18 professors of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) died of COVID-19 in the last 20 days. Shadaab Khan, a 58-year-old doctor and head of the medicine department. Shakil Ahmed Samdani, 59, Dean at the Faculty of Law. Khalid Bin Yusuf, 60, noted Sanskrit scholar and the first Indian Muslim to earn a PhD in the Rigveda, reported The Print.
We have lost several of our very senior faculty members, the situation is very alarming here. We have lost 18 serving teachers in the last 20 days, and it is a matter of huge concern for the university,” Shafey Kidwai, professor of mass communication and in-charge of the Public Relations Office (PRO) at AMU, told The Print.
Prof Shakeel Samdani, Dean of Law Faculty at Aligarh Muslim University passes away due to Covid-19.
AMU has lost 17 serving faculty to Covid in last 20 days. 😢
— Tarique Anwer (@tanwer_m) May 8, 2021
Over 100 patients are admitted in the university’s Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College (JNMC), he said.
Aligarh Muslim University loses 16 serving faculty to Covid-19 In the last 20 days. According to an unverified list, the total number is 43. pic.twitter.com/KcXqCM4Hv0
— Oommen C. Kurian (@oommen) May 9, 2021
There are fears on the campus about the possibility of a more virulent strain of the virus wreaking havoc at AMU.
Vice-Chancellor (V-C) Tariq Mansoor, who lost his brother to Covid-19 last week, Sunday wrote to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), asking the body to analyse samples of the virus from the campus and conduct viral genome sequencing to ascertain if the fears are true.
The spate of deaths is “giving rise to suspicion that a particular viral variant may be circulating in the Civil Lines area of Aligarh in which AMU and many other adjoining localities are situated”, Mansoor said in the letter.
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“I kindly request you to instruct the concerned section/department of ICMR to perform analysis of Covid-19 samples sent from our lab to investigate for any particular viral variants of Covid-19 virus circulating in Aligarh, which may be giving rise to greater severity of disease, so that we may consider other epidemiological links and measures to control the same,” he added.