‘AIIMS PG Entrance Excludes COVID Docs, Risks Virus Spread’

It is a bad decision by AIIMS authorities to conduct an exam amid the coronavirus pandemic.

My Report
3 min read

Video Editor: Vivek Gupta
Video Producer: Aastha Gulati
Illustration: Aroop Mishra/Erum Gour

The post-graduate entrance test conducted by All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is scheduled for 11 June amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On 5 June, AIIMS issued admit cards which debarred any student who was in contact with a COVID patient or is a COVID patient himself from appearing in the examination and also threatened legal proceedings. On 8 June, another notice was issued, saying no one will be prohibited from writing the exam but government of India guidelines will be followed. It said that ‘Medical care of a Covid-19 positive patient with PPE does not constitute a ‘Close Contact’’.

Even after using PPEs, doctors are getting exposed in all parts of our country, including AIIMS. Frontline COVID warriors will hence have no choice but to forgo this years’ entrance.

Our country is facing a huge spike in cases everyday. As per government guidelines, we are not allowed to promote social gatherings, even if in the form of academic gatherings.

“It is a bad decision for AIIMS authorities to conduct an exam amid the coronavirus pandemic where all the state borders are sealed, all modes of transport are not fully functional, and students’ examination centres are far away.”
Dr Vaibhav Trivedi, PG Aspirant and Resident Doctor 

To ensure social distancing, there are a number of measures adopted by AIIMS, like staggered entry, barcoded admit card and use of masks/sanitizers. But what about those coming from containment zone, if at all they are allowed to come out and appear for the exam?

Even if they come from a containment zone there is an increased probability that they will transmit the infection from their area/zone to the examination centre, to staff and invigilators, security and sweeping staff and others present. Eventually, they can also bring back the infection from the centre to their hospitals and homes.

AIIMS has not considered, similarly, those who have centres in different states. The guidelines issued by the institute leave it to the candidate to apply for an e-pass to cross the border.

“I have to reach Gorakhpur in UP for the exam. The officer at the border has said that there is no permission for foreigners to cross the border in this situation, but if there is any other order I’d have to go into quarantine first.”
Dr Bhuwal Agrahari from Nepal

Any candidate in close contact is a potent source of infection and transmission even he is allowed. The National Students' Union of India (NSUI) has asked for the postponement of the exam based on students’ concerns. Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan has urged Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan to intervene as many aspirants from Kerala have centres in Tamil Nadu.

When each and every Indian and international exam is getting postponed,  it makes no sense to hold this exam at such time. 

Officially, the new session begins  from 1 July every year, so we still have enough time to conduct the examination. AIIMS is trying its best to start the session and not delay it by even a day. The question should not arise of losing a session or delaying a session when there is a question of life and death.

(The Quint has reached out to the Director of AIIMS. This copy will be updated if there is a response.)

(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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