Published: 22nd July 2020
There's no need to panic: Kerala Minister after students who wrote KEAM entrance test positive for COVID
Kerala Minister Kadakampally Surendran said that the government is doing everything to trace people who were in contact with the COVID positive students
The fear of the spread of COVID-19 has forced almost all universities, boards and governments across the country to either postpone or shift exams from offline mode to online. Around the same time, precisely on July 16, the Kerala Engineering Architecture Medical entrance examination 2020 was held at various centres across the state. Worst fears of many had come true after four students and a parent tested positive for COVID-19 a few days later.
However, the Kerala government says that the students do not have to worry. "Proper social distancing norms were followed at most examination centres. There is nothing to be worried about," said Kerala Minister for Co-Operation, Tourism and Devaswom, Kadakampally Surendran. He added that a student who tested positive was symptomatic and wrote the exam in an isolated room. "We are also tracing the students who were in contact with the others who tested positive," he added.
The crowding outside an exam centre
Photographs of students and parents crowding outside St Mary's High School, Pattom, an exam centre in Thiruvananthapuram had gone viral a few days ago. Many people had called this out and blamed the authorities for not doing enough to maintain social distancing. "Things didn't exactly go right at that school. However, thankfully no one has tested positive there. This photo is being circulated to create panic," Surendran said.
A few students who wrote the exams too reiterated what the minister said. "Everyone wore masks inside the exam halls. We were given enough hand sanitisers too," says Binitha, a student. "The police officers there managed to maintain social distancing among people. There was a bit of crowding during the lunchtime. I did not step out then," she says. Another student Deepak, said something similar too. "It's worrisome that someone tested positive. But I didn't interact with anyone there. People had masks on and social distancing was maintained," he said.