Be it the first person to test COVID positive or the first state to flatten the COVID curve, Kerala has been making headlines ever since the pandemic hit India on 30 January 2020.
The state recently conducted school level examination from 26 May to 30 May, amidst the pandemic. Around 13 lakh students of Secondary Schools (Class 10) and Higher Secondary Schools (Class 11 and 12) appeared for the final exams in 3000 centres set across the state. The authorities took maximum care to abide by the rules and successfully contained the spread of coronavirus, as per the reports.
“None of the students who appeared for the exams developed COVID-19 symptoms since last 15 days”, said a senior Official working in Health Ministry.
Later, the report was also confirmed through a tweet by the Finance minister of Kerala on 15 June. The tweet read, “14 days ago 13 lakh school students completed school final exams in Kerala. Not a single student affected by COVID. It was meticulously planned: schools sanitised. Masks distributed to all. Thermal readings mandatory. Physical distancing ensured. Operation success.”
This herculean task turned out as a commendable effort by both the State and citizens of Kerala through a series of measures;
The state procured around 5000 infrared thermal scanners to screen the students across the centres. Students were provided pamphlets, stating rules to be followed to maintain distancing. All classrooms at the exam centres were sanitized before the entry of the next batch. There were special rooms, allotted to students who showed higher body temperature in the thermal scanners
More than 5 lakh gloves and masks were provided to teachers and other staff. National Service Scheme(NSS) along with other organizations distributed around 25 lakh masks to the students for 5 days until the exams were over. Extra staffs were hired on a daily wage basis, to help in sanitation works. Around 2 health officials were allotted to every exam centre for screening purposes.
There was a huge uproar from the opposition parties of Kerala before the implementation of this task. However, the government of Kerala turned the criticism into achievement via proper management and organized support from both people and the authorities.
“Currently, there are around 1174 recovered cases and 1348 active cases and a total of 20 people died by COVID-19 till June 15,” as per the official twitter handle of CMO Kerala.