Certain additional measures would be taken to enable students, who appeared for the SSLC (Class 10) exam with those subsequently testing Covid-19 positive, to write their remaining papers without fear, Karnataka Education Minister S Suresh Kumar said on Sunday.
He said all 18 students and the invigilator of the exam hall in Hassan district, where a Covid positive student appeared to write the maths exam on Saturday, have tested negative.
"If any student is confirmed Covid-19 positive during the exam, arrangements will be made for other students to appear for the remaining papers by providing them safety as per the advice of the health department," Kumar was quoted as saying in an official press release.
According to the health department, he said, since thermal screening, physical distancing of over one metre, use of face mask and sanitiser were followed in the exam centre, the other students in the hall cannot be considered as contacts. The health department had stated this in response to a clarification sought by the education department on contact tracing, the Minister said.
He directed officials to ensure one student per desk and maintain a distance of six feet between the desks.
The department has suggested measures like disinfecting rooms, allowing other students in that room to write the exam for the remaining period in another room or permit them to take the supplementary examination, among others, he added.
According to the Minister, the health department has identified about 25 students from across the state to be infected by Covid-19 and they have been exempted from the ongoing SSLC exams. The exams began on June 25 and is scheduled to end on July 4.
A student appearing for the exam on Saturday at Government PU College at Mallipattana in Arakalgud taluk of Hassan district had tested positive for Covid-19.
According to sources, his report came while he was in the middle of the examination following which he was shifted to another hall and was allowed to complete the exam.
"Medical tests have confirmed that 18 other students and the invigilator of the exam hall have not been infected by Covid-19. Students and parents need not worry," Kumar said.
He said the hall where the infected student wrote the exam has been sealed and all required containment measures have been taken.
The infected student is undergoing treatment at a hospital. Other than slight fever, he was showing no other symptoms and was safe, the Minister said adding that all the other students can appear for the exam on Monday without fear.