‘Tested Positive for COVID-19 After My NEET Exam in Gujarat’
‘Not just me, but my grandfather, sister, brother and an uncle also tested positive for coronavirus.’
Video Editor: Puneet Bhatia
Video Producer: Aliza Noor
Over 14 lakh students took the NEET 2020 entrance examination on 13 September, amid a lot of protests and calls for its postponement. I was one of those students. However, the very next day I had high fever. I got tested for COVID-19 on 18 September and the test report returned positive.
My experience of taking the exam was not good. There was a lack of safety protocols at my centre in Vadodara. However, what transpired after was worse as my grandfather, sister, brother and uncle also tested positive for COVID-19.
While I am now making a full recovery, I can’t help but wonder if my ordeal (and perhaps many others’) could have been avoided had the NTA postponed the exam to a later date.
Lax in Following Safety Protocols
Prior to the exam, when we got our admit cards, there was an undertaking form wherein we had to tick boxes regarding our visit to any place in the last 14 days, or if we came in close contact with any COVID-19 positive person.
Along with it, the NTA guidelines were also attached but nowhere was it mentioned whether testing will be done or not.
I believe this should have been done because many could have been asymptomatic. Maybe that was the case with me, too.
There could have also been a suggestion for students to quarantine strictly after or undergo a test, given the exposure.
On the day of the exam, students were called in batches to the centre to avoid crowding. When it came to social distancing, guidelines were followed outside the centre. However, they should have been followed inside the centre as well, which they were not.
All that was done was a temperature check. Although our hands were sanitised, there was no sanitising tunnel.
In the exam hall, students had to sit for 5-6 hours continuously, without any food. In my case, maybe the virus was affecting me already because my body and my head were aching a lot. There was a time when I couldn’t even read the question paper.
Ultimately, when you're giving a national level examination on an empty stomach and stomach-ache, and then you have to give the paper, it is very difficult.
I got tested on 18 September, as my doctor thought I probably just had viral fever.
As soon as I tested positive, on the same day, I tweeted for the students and invigilators to get tested too, just in case they had contracted the virus as well.
Therefore, the conduction of the exams could have been done in a better manner. This is also why we had called for a postponement, as there was no need to rush.
My experience after that was rocky.
After a few days, my brother and I were shifted to a government facility in Savli.
In our seven days of quarantine, the experience was good at the facility. There was nothing to complain about it. The staff members were also quite cooperative.
Presently, I have seven more days of home quarantine to complete.
However, I can’t help but think that in my case, The Quint has provided me this platform to express myself, but there might be many other cases that have not been explored.
There might be people who don't have the facility or enough money to go through the treatment. The NTA should have factored in all this.
(All ‘My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)
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