Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has become a hotspot of Covid-19 infections as the teaching and non-teaching staff continue to perish without receiving the vaccine. According to the Print report, the covid-19 death toll in AMU has risen over 100, and the graveyard earmarked in the campus for faculty is running out of space. In the past few weeks, 38 AMU teachers, including 17 serving ones, have died of Covid or Covid-like symptoms.
“In April, on one particular day, there were 18 bodies, highest so far. We are running out of space, and have to accommodate the new bodies on the older graves. We also had to hire more people to dig the graves due to the rise in deaths,” said Masroor Ahmed, in charge of the graveyard.
As reported by TFI, the death and devastation inside the university campus have been caused by the fatal concoction of rumour mongering, vaccine hesitancy and general lack of awareness. The deaths on an unprecedented scale have happened despite the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College (JNMC) present on the campus where the safety trials of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin are still undergoing.
Most of the fatalities have occurred during the month of Ramazan as the teachers actively avoided taking vaccine or any medicine, despite contracting the virus.
“From the official list of 18 professors who died, suffering from Covid and post-Covid complications, only two of them had taken the first shot. Both of them had taken the shot only one week and three days before they got infected with the virus,” said a senior doctor at the JNMC.
According to a report by India Today, despite regular appeals for vaccination by the Vice-Chancellor urging the faculty members to take the jab, the vaccination drive received a lukewarm response at AMU, earlier this month. One Professor Waseem confirmed that among the fatalities there was hardly anyone who had received a jab of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Witnessing the death of colleagues and after several incessant appeals from the VC, people have reluctantly started inching toward the vaccine centres, but the number is still far too low.
“People here thought that the vaccine will deteriorate their underlying health conditions. Now after these deaths and the VC’s appeal, the number of people taking the shot has increased. Most of them even believed that the vaccine will cause death. Rumours spread that some people died after taking the vaccine,” said a student who didn’t wish to be named.
Despite having the brightest minds teaching on the campus, the shocking vaccine hesitancy and mistrust in the efficacy of the vaccine is a concerning trend to have emerged from AMU. With the death toll crossing the 100 mark, the VC of the university must make the inoculation of the vaccine jabs mandatory, otherwise, the numbers are only expected to rise in the coming days.