Follow six feet distance norm in examination halls: Health Ministry
Since examination centres are frequented by large number of students (as well as their parents) and staff till the entire duration of the exam and therefore, it's vital to plan and conduct these examinations, while following specific preventive measures.
The Health Ministry has issued preventive measures to be followed while conducting examinations to contain the spread of COVID-19. Since examination centres are frequented by a large number of students (as well as their parents) and staff till the entire duration of the exam and therefore, it's vital to plan and conduct these examinations while following specific preventive measures.The generic measures include simple public health measures that are to be followed to reduce the risk of COVID-19. These measures need to be observed by all (staff, students and parents) in these places at all times.
(i) The physical distancing of at least 6 feet to be followed as far as feasible.
(ii) Use of face covers/masks to be made mandatory.
(iii) Practice frequent hand washing with soap (for at least 40-60 seconds) even when hands are not visibly dirty. Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (for at least 20 seconds) can be made wherever feasible.
(Iv) Respiratory etiquette to be strictly followed. This involves strict practice of covering one's mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing off used tissues properly.
(v) Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest.
(vi) Spitting shall be strictly prohibited.
(vii) Installation and use of Aarogya Setu App shall be advised to all, as far as feasible.
Besides, the Ministry has asked all the universities, educational Institutions, examination conducting authorities, examination centers to specifically ensure that only those examination centers which are outside the containment zone should be allowed to function and staff/examinees from containment zones should not be permitted.
“Such examinees shall be given an opportunity to undertake the examination through other means or the Universities/Educational Institution shall arrange for taking exam at a later date for such students,” the Ministry’s guideline said.
Other important preventive measures include planning out the examination schedule in a staggered manner so as to avoid overcrowding at any examination center on any day; ensuring adequate room capacity to ensure proper seating arrangement for examination; making appropriate arrangements for personal protection gears like face covers/masks, and other logistic like hand sanitizers, soap, sodium hypochlorite solution etc among other things.
The Ministry has also asked the exam functionary and examinees to submit self-declaration about health status at the time of entrance to the examination center. “Such self-declaration form may be circulated at the time of issue of admit tickets. A simple do's and dont's/ Advisory may also be circulated at the time of issue of admit tickets.”
It adds, “Students should also be given prior information on what they should carry, which includes exam related documents (Admit card, ID card etc) , face mask, water bottle, hand sanitizer etc.”
Regarding entry and exit to the examination center, the Ministry’s circular says that entrances should have mandatory hand hygiene and thermal screening provisions and If any examination functionary/examinee fails to meet the self-declaration criteria, they shall not be allowed entry.
“Only asymptomatic staff and students shall be allowed inside the examination hall. In regular course, a symptomatic candidate should be referred to the nearest health center and given an opportunity to undertake the examination through other means or the Universities/Educational Institution shall arrange for taking exam at a later date when the student is declared physically fit,” it said.
Students can get a detailed guideline at the Health Ministry’s website.