Representational image. (HT file)
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After making arrangements for the NEET exam to run smoothly, Odisha’s government clarified on Saturday that candidates with high temperature and certain COVID symptoms but who did not test positive will be allowed to take the test.

That was decided at a review meeting here that included the Khurda District Judge, who also includes Bhubaneswar, senior health ministry officials, and Polly Patnaik, Nodal State Nodal Officer.

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“Yes, candidates with more than normal body temperature and symptoms of COVID but who did not test positive are allowed to take the exam,” Khurda DM S K Mohanty told PTI after the meeting.

The district judge also made it clear that under the policy, students who test positive for the infection will be given the opportunity to take the NEET exam at a later date via a digital platform.

When asked how to deal with candidates with COVID symptoms, Mohanty said, “These students will be isolated and given seating in separate rooms. A maximum of 12 students will be assigned a seat in a room, taking physical distance into account. “The DM said the supervisors visiting students with symptoms of COVID-19 will wear PPE while performing the exam tasks.

The wearing of face masks and the use of disinfectants is mandatory for every candidate. The medical teams were deployed in the hostels in five engineering colleges where the candidates are staying.

That being said, the DM said that local modes of transport such as auto rickshaws and taxis have been set up to take the students to the exam centers.

All arrangements for Sunday NEET testing in 7 cities in 7 districts have been made by the respective collectors and community commissioners, as per National Testing Agency (NTA) guidelines, said Additional Secretary General for Health and Family Welfare, PK Mohapatra, added Den “Students are encouraged to take the exam without fear of COVID-19.” The state government has made extensive provisions to provide free transportation and accommodation for candidates who appear for the NEET exam on Sunday at 83 centers in seven cities across the state to allow, said an official.

A total of 37,459 candidates will appear for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test in Odisha.

“The state government has made arrangements for free transportation and housing for candidates and their legal guardians,” said the NEET node officer.

State buses will be available to facilitate the free movement of candidates and their guardians from different counties to the exam centers, she said.

The examinations will be conducted from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in strict compliance with health safety protocols to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease.

Patnaik said candidates must undergo a thermal exam before entering the centers in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Angul, Berhampur, Rourkela, Balasore and Sambalpur.

The East Coast Railway will also run special trains for NEET aspirants, an official said.

“Trains run from Khariar Road via Titlagarh to Sambalpur, Rayagada to Sambalpur, Bhadrak to Bhubaneswar via Cuttack and from Keonjhar to Bhubaneswar via Cuttack,” he said.

The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has arranged accommodation for NEET candidates and their parents at five engineering colleges.

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