"We could have postponed the exam", says Aruvikkara MLA Sabarinadhan.

A large crowd consisting of students and parents gather outside a KEAM centre in ThiruvananthapuramStudents and parents gather outside a KEAM centre in Thiruvananthapuram
Coronavirus Coronavirus Tuesday, July 21, 2020 - 13:25

Two students, who wrote the Kerala Engineering Architecture and Medical (KEAM) Entrance Exam in Thiruvananthapuram have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The two students, among the 1.03 lakh students who attended the exam, had taken the test at two different centres in Thiruvananthapuram district.

According to reports, one student was from Karakulam and wrote the exam at a centre in Karamana, while another student who wrote the exam at a centre in Thycaud, hailed from Pozhiyoor. The government is said to have begun contact tracing.

This comes days after photos and videos of large crowds of students and parents had done the rounds on social media and sparked a row, as critics said that the authorities failed to impose physical distancing norms.

Speaking to TNM, Aruvikkara MLA Sabarinadhan from the opposition Congress said, "Unlike the school exams, KEAM was centralised. Only 20 centers were there in Thiruvananthapuram. All were in city limits. The government should have decentralised the exam centers at least."

"National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), which was scheduled on July 26, was postponed to September. Even in Kerala, we could have postponed the KEAM. Moreover, the regulations at the exam centers were also poor," he added.

Before the exam was conducted, critics pointed out that states such as Andhra Pradesh and Telangana had postponed their Common Entrance Tests (CETs) in view of the rising cases of COVID-19. However, the Kerala government went ahead with its plans despite the criticism, and said that the guidelines were implemented strongly and the state machinery was prepared to conduct the exams.

A total of 7,611 COVID-19 patients are currently under treatment in Kerala. Thiruvananthapuram is the worst-hit district in the state, accounting for 2,062 active cases. A total of 2,118 people are under hospital quarantine in the district after exhibiting symptoms of the virus.

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