The Union Health Ministry today issued revised SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) on preventive measures to be followed while conducting examinations to contain the spread of COVID-19. Also Read - Coronavirus: Fatality Rate Declining, 5 States Account For 70% of Deaths in India, Says Health Ministry

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 ministry said.

Elaborate guidelines including entry and exit measure, safety protocol to be followed as well as the procedure for symptomatic candidates as well as centres at containment zones, are laid out in the new SOP.

Here are the major points:

-No staff or examinees from containment zones shall not be permitted in the exam centre.

-Only asymptomatic staff and students shall be allowed inside the examination hall as per the guidelines and face cover/mask has to be worn at all times inside the examination centre

-Arrangements for personal protection gears like face covers, masks, and other logistic like hand sanitizers, soap, sodium hypochlorite solution etc. shall be made available at the examination venue.

–Universities, educational institutions and examination conducting authorities may plan out the examination schedule in a staggered manner so as to avoid overcrowding at any examination centre on any day.

-Respiratory etiquette to be strictly followed. This involves the strict practice of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing of used tissues properly.

-Exam functionary and examinees may also submit self-declaration about health status at the time of entrance to the examination centre.

-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 sanitiser etc.

-Adequate manpower shall be deployed by the institution for maintaining the discipline to ensure observance to distancing norms and other preventive measures at all times during conduct of the examination.

-The examination centre should have a designated isolation room for isolating any person who is found symptomatic at the time of screening or during the examination

-Besides this, entrances will have mandatory hand hygiene and thermal screening provisions. If any examination functionary and examinee fails to meet the self-declaration criteria, they shall not be allowed entry.

-The face cover and mask has to be worn at all times inside the examination centre by all. Enough entry and exits gates for students and staff shall be ensured to avoid overcrowding.

-The examinees will be taken to a registration room in batches maintaining adequate physical distancing norms for document verification and recording of attendance. Thereafter they will be escorted in batches to the allotted examination hall.

-On completion of the exam, the candidates should be permitted to move out in an orderly manner.

(With Agency inputs)