COVID-19 infected students forced to write exams by college

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Hyderabad: In a shocking revelation, a medical college in Moinabad has been found conducting exams for students. What’s more is that the management has reportedly called even those who are COVID-19 positive, and made them sit in a separate room to write the exam. Students, who were forced to appear for it, have said that the institution has put several people at the risk of getting infected with the virus.

Siasat.com spoke to some of the students from Bhaskar Medical College, which is situated at Yenkapally, Moinabad district. They said that their institution is conducting pre-final exams in complete violation of the Telangana government’s order few weeks ago which postponed all examinations in the state. One of the students, who did not want to be quoted, even sent across a question paper dated April 20.

One of the question papers from the pre-final theory exams that Bhasker Medical College conducted on April 20. (Photo: Siasat).

What’s worse about this entire ordeal, according to students, is that their college is making people who tested positive for COVID-19 to come and write exams in the room exactly opposite to the hall where those who are not infected with the virus are also writing the exams.

A student, requesting anonymity, said told Siasat.com said, “There are no temperature checks, no sanitizers and no social distancing in a room where around 125 people are made to sit and write the exam.”

Another student, who also did not want to be identified, said that people with symptoms and others who come from families with COVID-19 positive patients, who can possibly be carriers, are made to sit in the same room as other students.

“There is no physical distancing and everyone is present in crowds. The lab assistants also don’t wear masks and don’t sanitise their hands. We don’t care that much about ourselves, but we don’t want to be carriers of the virus into our homes and harm our elder family members,” said one of the students, who who very much angry with the management for making them appear for the exams.

Manikarnika(name changed), said that Bhaskar Medical College is also conducting practical exams which will include them having to diagnose a patient. According to her, students will have to enter the hospital for that. “We have ENT, ophthalmology and SPM this year, so we will be entering the ENT wards where most infected patients will be present.”

When parents tried to take up the issue and talk to the college authorities they were told to “come again next year to write the exam if they have a problem.” Students of the college called this “mental and emotional harassment” and it implied that they would be failed this year and would have to write exams next year if they did not appear for these exams.

Few students however mentioned that the issue is not about writing exams, and about how it’s being conducted. A student from the college, said that her father spoke to an official of the Medical Council of India about this.

“The MCI official told my father that the college has the authority to call the people who have tested positive as well. If someone chooses not to come they lose a year on their own personal accord,” she told Siasat.com According to others, the second year exams started one week ago and third year exams started on 20th.

When contacted, Dr. G. Srinivas Rao, director of Public Health, told Siasat.com that he will look into the matter, and sought details of the same. The shocking incident comes in wake of Telangana reporting thousands of new COVID-19 cases daily over the last two weeks. On Wednesday, the state reported over 6,000 cases alone. Hospitals across Hyderabad and districts are currently overflowing with patients, whose families are struggling to cope.