The fear of contracting coronavirus has gripped final year post-graduate (PG) students in the State who have requested postponement of the final examinations scheduled from June 20 and giving them Senior Residency like in other States. The PGs said that if all of them convened in one hall to take the exams, the virus might spread among them if any of them was asymptomatic carrier of the virus.

Their fears became pronounced after two PG students at Nizam’s Institute of Medial Sciences (NIMS), who took exams from June first week, tested positive for coronavirus. The two resident doctors were sitting one after the other in the hall. However, it is not yet established whether the two students had contracted the infectious disease from the examination hall.

The PG students attend duties as part of their course. If any of them aspire to get a job in government hospitals in the future, they have to work for one year in the hospitals. This is called Senior Residency. The third year PGs who are set to take exams are allowed not to attend duties from May.

“The virus might spread when all of us sit in the same hall for the exams. We have been off duty for the past one month to prepare for the exams. Rather, the exams can be postponed and our services can be used in the current situation to attend patients at hospital. A few States have opted to grant Senior Residency to the final year PG students and will conduct exams on a later date. This will help students and the government,” said a final year student from Osmania Medical College (OMC).

Another PG student from Gandhi Medical College (GMC) said they wear Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) while attending COVID-19 patients, which keeps them relatively safe from the virus.

“A few of us are day scholars. So we will have to go to our homes after taking exams. Our families could get exposed to the virus,” the GMC PG said.

If the authorities were to go ahead with their plans to conduct the exams, the medicals students sought clarity on measures taken to prevent spread of the virus if anyone had it. “Physical distance will be maintained. But what if one among us in the exam hall is asymptomatic carrier?,” the student asked.

Meanwhile, four PG students from OMC and GMC, who tested positive for coronavirus and have been under isolation and treatment, are not clear if they will be allowed to take the final exams which are six days away. Even if they complete 14-day isolation at hospital or home, they should be under quarantine for 14 more days.

The medical student also want to know the measures to be taken, if they are allowed to take exams, to ensure they do not spread the virus to others in the examination hall.

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