Plan, prepare, and respond to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disease

We are closely monitoring the outbreak of the coronavirus. We want to assure you that our top priority is the safety of our students, our staff, and our entire community. Institute Health Centreis following all protocols recommended by the Government of India, Government of Odisha, and The World Health Organization to keep our fraternity safe and reduce the risk of exposure. We have access to the best available information to constantly update Institutional guidelines and recommendations, as neededto respond to this evolving situation.
A taskforce including Director, Dy Director, Dean Academic Affairs,and Registrar is constantly reviewing the situation so as to take appropriate action when and where required.

Guidelines and recommendations

First and foremost, we would like to request all not to panic though, we understand that news of the virus’s spread can be alarming. Please use the following details to get informed about the coronavirus.

What is the source of the virus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses and many of them are known to cause illness in animals and people. However, rarely, animal coronaviruses can emerge to infect people and can spread between people. This is suspected to have occurred for the current virus (a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans).

How does the virus spread?

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person (who are in close contact, within about 6 feet). Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Therefore, suspected patients must be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

Although, spread might be possible before people show symptoms; people are thought to be most contagious when they are most sick.

What are the common symptoms?

Common symptoms associated with COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and breathing difficulty. In addition to these, the following symptoms like chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, diarrhea, and new loss of taste or smell are also reported in COVID-19 cases. In severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and death

Is there a vaccine or treatment for coronavirus?

Currently no vaccine or specific antiviral medicine available to prevent or treat the coronavirus. However, infected persons should receive care to relieve symptoms and those with serious illness must be hospitalized immediately.

How can I help protect myself?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing or after you have been in a public place. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Everyone should wear a face mask or cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities
  • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover/mask is not a substitute for social distancing.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick (showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing).
  • Stay home when you are sick. Cover your cough or sneeze with your bent elbow or tissue. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately and wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Make sure to clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a disinfectant spray or wipes.

Should I be tested for coronavirus?

Contact Institute Health Centre or nearest hospital, if you feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with an infected person or if you live in or have recently travelled from an area with on going spread of coronavirus.

Where can I be tested for coronavirus in Odisha?

Currently, the COVID-19 testing facilities available in Odisha are,

  1. ICMR-Regional Medical Research Centre, Bhubaneshwar (High-throughput Laboratory)
  2. All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneshwar
  3. SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack
  4. MKCG Medical College, Berhampur
  5. Ispat General Hospital, Rourkela
  6. Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Science & Research, Sambalpur
  7. Institute of Life Sciences, Bhubaneshwar
  8. ICAR- International Centre for Foot and Mouth Disease, Khordha, Odisha
  9. Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), BerhampurBhima Bhoi Medical College and Hospital, Bolangir
  10. Dept of Lab Services, Apollo Hospitals, Bhubaneswar
  11. IMS & SUM Hospital, Bhubaneswar
  12. InDNA Life Sciences Pvt Ltd, 2nd Floor, KIIT TBI, Bhubaneswar

ICMR testing strategy for COVID-19 in India (UPDATED ON 17/3/20)

All asymptomatic people who have undertaken international travel:

  • They should stay in home quarantine for 14 days.
  • They should be tested only if they become symptomatic (fever, cough, difficulty in breathing etc.).
  • lf the test result is positive, then they should be isolated and treated as per standard protocol.

All contacts of laboratory-confirmed positive cases:

  • They should stay in home quarantine for 14 days.
  • They should be tested only if they become symptomatic (fever, cough, difficulty in breathing etc.).
  • lf the test result is positive, then they should be isolated and treated as per standard protocol.

Health care workers managing respiratory distress / Severe acute respiratory illness should be tested when they are symptomatic.

Revised Strategy of COVID19 testing in India (Version 3, Dated 20/03/2020)   

i. All asymptomatic individuals who have undertaken international travel in the last 14 days:
  • They should stay in home quarantine for 14 days.
  • They should be tested only if they become symptomatic (fever, cough, difficulty in breathing)
  • All family members living with a confirmed case should be home quarantined
ii. All symptomatic contacts of laboratory-confirmed cases.
iii. All symptomatic health care workers.
iv. All hospitalized patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (fever AND cough and/or shortness of breath).
v. Asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of a confirmed case should be tested once between day 5 and day 14 of coming in his/her contact.
  • Direct and high-risk contact include those who live in the same household with a confirmed case and healthcare workers who examined a confirmed case without adequate protection as per WHO recommendations.

ICMR Revised Strategy for COVID19 testing in India (Version 4, dated 09/04/2020)   

  1. All symptomatic individuals who have undertaken international travel in the last 14 days
  2. All symptomatic contacts of laboratory confirmed cases
  3. All symptomatic health care workers
  4. All patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (fever AND cough and/or shortness of breath)
  5. Asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of a confirmed case should be tested once between day 5 and day 14 of coming in his/her contact in hotspots/cluster (as per MoHFW) and in large migration gatherings/ evacuees centres
  6. All symptomatic ILI (fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose)
    • Within 7 days of illness – rRT-PCR
    • After 7 days of illness – Antibody test (If negative, confirmed by rRT-PCR)

ICMR Revised Strategy for COVID19 testing in India (Version 5, dated 18/5/20)   

  1. All symptomatic (lLl symptoms) individuals with a history of international travel in the last 14 days
  2. All symptomatic (lLl symptoms) contacts of laboratory-confirmed cases.
  3. All symptomatic (lLl symptoms) health care workers/frontline workers involved in containment and mitigation of COVlD19.
  4. All patients of Severe Acute Respiratory infection (SARI)
  5. Asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of a confirmed case to be tested once between day 5 and day 10 of coming into contact.
  6. All symptomatic lLI within hotspots/containment zones.
  7. All hospitalized patients who develop lLl symptoms.
  8. All symptomatic ILI among returnees and migrants within 7 days of illness.
  9. No emergency procedure (including deliveries) should be delayed for lack of test. However, the sample can be sent for testing if indicated as above (1-9), simultaneously.
Case definitions
  • lLl (Influenza-like illness): Acute respiratory infection with fever more than or equal to 38-degree celsius AND cough.
  • SARI (Severe Acute Respiratory infection ): Acute respiratory infection with fever more than or equal to 38-degree celsius AND cough requiring hospitalization.

Government of India Ministry of Health & Family WelfareDirectorate General of Health Services (EMR Division) Guidelines for home quarantine

The home quarantined person should:

  • Stay in a well-ventilated single-room preferably with an attached/separate toilet. If another family member needs to stay in the same room, it’s advisable to maintain a distance of at least 1 meter between the two.
  • stay away from elderly people, pregnant women, children and persons with co-morbidities within the household.
  • Restrict his/her movement within the house.
  • Under no circumstances attend any social/religious gathering e.g. wedding, condolences, etc.
He should also follow the under mentioned public health measures at all times:
  • Wash hand as often thoroughly with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid sharing household items e.g. dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items with other people at home.
  • Wear a surgical mask at all the time. The mask should be changed every 6-8 hours and disposed off. Disposable masks are never to be reused.
  • Masks used by patients/caregivers/ close contacts during home care should be disinfected using ordinary bleach solution (5%) or sodium hypochlorite solution (1%) and then disposed of either by burning or deep burial.
  • Used mask should be considered as potentially infected.
  • If symptoms appear (cough/fever/difficulty in breathing), he/she should immediately inform the nearest health center.
Instructions for the family members of persons being home quarantined:
  • Only an assigned family member should be tasked with taking care of the such person.
  • Avoid shaking the soiled linen or direct contact with skin.
  • Use disposable gloves when cleaning the surfaces or handling soiled linen
  • Wash hands after removing gloves.
  • Visitors should not be allowed.
  • In case the person being quarantined becomes symptomatic, all his close contacts will be home quarantined (for 14 days) and followed up for an additional 14days or till the report of such case turns out negative on lab testing.
Environmental sanitation:
  1. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in the quarantined person’s room (e.g. bed frames, tables etc.) daily with 1% Sodium Hypochlorite Solution.
  2. Clean and disinfect toilet surfaces daily with regular household bleach solution/phenolic disinfectants.
  3. Clean the clothes and other linen used by the person separately using common household detergent and dry.

Updated US CDC definition of a 'close contact' of an individual with covid-19. (updated on 21/10/20)

"Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period* starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated". * "Individual exposures added together over a 24-hour period (e.g., three 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). Data are limited, making it difficult to precisely define “close contact;” however, 15 cumulative minutes of exposure at a distance of 6 feet or less can be used as an operational definition for contact investigation. Factors to consider when defining close contact include proximity (closer distance likely increases exposure risk), the duration of exposure (longer exposure time likely increases exposure risk), whether the infected individual has symptoms (the period around onset of symptoms is associated with the highest levels of viral shedding), if the infected person was likely to generate respiratory aerosols (e.g., was coughing, singing, shouting), and other environmental factors (crowding, adequacy of ventilation, whether exposure was indoors or outdoors). Because the general public has not received training on proper selection and use of respiratory PPE, such as an N95, the determination of close contact should generally be made irrespective of whether the contact was wearing respiratory PPE. At this time, differential determination of close contact for those using fabric face coverings is not recommended".

Please also use the following resources

1. Do’s and don’t in COVID 19

2. The science of soap – here’s how it kills the coronavirus | Pall Thordarson

3. Advisory from UGC.

4. Advisory from WHO.

5. Advisory from Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India.

6. Advisory from Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of Odisha.

7. Capital Hospital Bhubaneswar - Nodal Centre for our District.

8. COVID-19 testing facility: Regional Medical Research Centre, Bhubaneswar.

9. Coronavirus Outbreak in India

10. Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1

11."How to coronavirus-proof your home"


13. Mental Health & Well-Being of students during and after COVID-19 outbreak  

14. Minding our minds during the COVID-19  

15. Guidelines for Downloading the Aarogya Setu App  

16. Redressal of grievances related to COVID-19 pandemic  

17. Cloth Masks May Prevent Transmission of COVID-19: An Evidence-Based, Risk-Based Approach.  

18. "Physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection to prevent person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis"  Latest

19. A Visual Guide to the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus.  
20. Advisory on Strategy for COVID-19 Testing in India(Version VI, dated 4th September 2020).
21. Support for Rehabilitation Self-Management after COVID-19 Related Illness.
22. Home isolation guidelines.   Latest
1) Video by BBC on quarantine:

2) Tips for mental health and wellbeing while working from home:

3) Practical tips to take care of your mental health during the stay in:

4) Various health experts on how to manage mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 outbreak:

Daily Updates

Date Remarks
05-03-2020 Conducted an Interactive session about " covid-19 do's and Dont's " for staff and students by the Institute Medical Officer
1st Coronavirus Health Advisory issued to all IISER BPR members
09-03-2020 Registrar interacted with students about COVID-19 containment measures by IISER Berhampur
11-03-2020 Coronavirus awareness drive (posters published in all Institute notice boards including digital notice boards)
Issued a health advisory to Institute Gym (Fitness Nation) users
12-03-2020 Meetings of Institute medical committee and task force to review situation at campus
2nd Coronavirus Health Advisory issued to all IISER BPR members with the following recommendations.

i) All members of IISER Berhampur are advised not to travel to COVID-19 affected countries till the advisory is withdrawn.
ii) Any member of IISER Berhampur who has travelled abroad recently is advised to undergo a self-imposed quarantine for a period of 14 days from the date of arrival in India. They can join regular work at IISER Berhampur after this period of quarantine, but need to first report at institute medical centre for a basic medical check. About matters related to the nature of leave etc during this period, it will be considered on merit. Students/Faculties/Non-teaching staff may consult Coordinator, Student affairs/DoAA/DOFA/Registrar, as the case may be for clarification, if any.
iii) The visit of foreign nationals to IISER Berhampur campus is currently discouraged for the next one month or till the advisory is withdrawn.
iv) Organizing of major conferences/events with large participation from the public is highly discouraged for the next one-month period or till the advisory is withdrawn.
v) If in case of anyone suffering from flu, cough/cold etc., he/she should immediately consult the Institute Medical Officer for advice and can attend office only with the concurrence of medical officer with appropriate mask.
vi) Cosmetic Maintenance and Housekeeping Committee is hereby requested to ensure proper cleanliness of Institute building, canteen, hostels, guesthouses, library, canteen, high touch surfaces etc, using Chlorine based disinfectants.
vii) All IISER Berhampur members should practice preventive measures for COVID-19 infection, like proper hand hygiene, maintenance of respiratory etiquette and stay away from people who are sick.
viii) Institute dispensary shall stock required quantity of medicines, consumables etc., for providing effective medical care to our members.
ix) Institute Medical Committee proposes to consider cease biometric attendance of the employees/ outsourcing staff, while using the signed register as an alternative, for the next one month or till this advisory is withdrawn.
13-03-2020 Task force meeting to review situation at campus
14-03-2020 Strict implementation of the COVID 19 advisory issued by IISER Berhampur. Annual Institute cultural fest “KYRAT-2020” called off. So far, no confirmed or suspected case of coronavirus in IISER BPR.
15-03-2020 Classes suspended till 31st march 2020. Notification issued.   Link
17-03-2020 Instruction regarding COVID-19    Link
18-03-2020 So far there are no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Berhampur.
19-03-2020 LEAVE FOR PhD STUDENTS AND PDRFs (Internal communications)    Link
22-03-2020 Temporary Closure of Institute(COVID-19: Odisha Govt. Order on Lockdown in the Territorial Jurisdiction of Revenue District of Ganjam) Link
28-03-2020 Temporary Closure of Institute : ‘Complete Lockdown’ Declared by Govt. of India for the Period March 25 - April 14, 2020   Link
14-04-2020 Temporary Closure of Institute (COVID-19: Odisha Govt. Order on Lockdown in the Territorial Jurisdiction of Revenue District of Ganjam)  Link
03-05-2020 Temporary Closure of Institute till May 17, 2020  Link
17-05-2020 Temporary Closure of Institute till May 31, 2020  Link