About seven staff were affected by the infection, and returned to work. But Vedabothagar, an office assistant in the Vice Chancellor’s office succumbed to the virus on Monday. Registrar in-charge S Syed Shafi sent a WhatsApp message to the staff asking all to assemble at varsity premises on Tuesday to condole his death. He sent another message stating that Tuesday would be a holiday.
However, when around 30 staff went to VC Thamaraiselvi’s room on Tuesday morning to invite her for the condolence meeting, she directed them to go out of the room. Officials said she did not even ask them why they had come to her office. The staff then held a candlelight vigil for a brief period and then returned home.
“Through a circular dated September 3, the registrar had said that all Saturdays would be working days contrary to the usual government practice of second Saturdays being declared a holiday,” an aggrieved staff lamented. Despite many seeking relaxation of work norms during the pandemic, VC Thamaraiselvai ordered all staff to report for duty daily and even had them sign the attendance register daily, sources said.
Travel by public transport and not conducting COVID for university staff have made many of them fearful that more could contract the virus infection unless precautionary measures are taken. But there still is no clarity if and when such measures would be taken, sources added.