If you choose to stay at home, you add value to Society: says GITAM President Sribharat Mathukumili 


The Government of Andhra Pradesh has entrusted GIMSR (Gitam Institute of Medical Sciences and Research) Hospital for treating Covid positive cases in the district of Visakhapatnam.

GIMSR which is an 8-year-old hospital is well-prepared to deal with the outbreak with the support of its stakeholders. In a talk with Hello Vizag, Sribharat Mathukumili, President – GITAM University, shares his views.

“It has been four months now, and GIMSR has treated 500+ COVID patients and most of them have recovered. Our top priority at GIMSR remains the safety of staff, patients, and visitors. GIMSR is a 700-bedded facility and certain areas have been allocated for treating COVID patients. We have also offered GITAM hostel spaces on request of the Govt, many currently on stand-by, to be used as a quarantine facility. Should there be more quarantine needs, other vacant rooms will be used up first and the facilities for treating COVID patients will be expanded accordingly,” stated Bharat.

Stating that the service being provided at this unprecedented time is an ode to his grandfather MVVS Murthy (Founder of GITAM), Bharat added, “To ensure the smooth running of the services, there is a COVID committee for the University and a newly recruited hospitality team. To maintain hygiene and to ensure nutritious food is supplied to the patients, we have in-house nutritionists and the kitchens in the medical college campus.

”Speaking on the student’s point of view, Bharat, said, “We are continuously trying to mitigate any disruptions students might experience in adapting to remote, online instruction. There remain challenges though, for example with courses involving physical laboratories and we are working on dealing with such issues separately. All other concerns around examinations, placements, etc. will be addressed continuously based on the changing external situation. If the pandemic becomes worse and lockdown gets extended, we may have to take up more austerity measures.”In adapting to future learning needs and in line with their interest as a university to have a strong digital presence, GITAM has announced a 3-year partnership with Coursera.

One of the world’s largest online learning platforms, Coursera will enable students to access their high-quality library of courses from top universities around the world. “For the first three months, we have half the licenses that will be used to sensitize faculty to the platform further and enable final year and pre-final year students to do courses that will help them prepare better for an uncertain and concerning economic situation ahead. After the initial three months, these licenses will be extended for free, as well, to all students, faculty, and some even to Alumni, subject to availability, for at least the first full year.

More details will follow separately,” stated a note in the GITAM website.“We are closely following all the directions issued by central and state governments. Our campus spaces, hospitals, in particular, are being subject to regular and extensive sanitizing. Until the pandemic dies down completely, and our students, parents, and the larger ecosystem feel safe and secure, we will stay cautious and vigilant,” added Bharat. In his message to people, Bharat stated, “At this point in time, staying at home is the only safe option. If each of us chooses to stay at home and take precautionary measures, we add value to society.”

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