India is experiencing another surge of Covid-19 cases. Two years ago, students witnessed their world turn upside down. The dangerous virus again poses a threat to youngsters, and this time the scientists claim that the virus will spread even faster. Although the cases are in control, doctors warn against complacency. With the exam season around the corner, students must maintain their health and follow all the preventive measures to ensure safety. Here is a complete guide for students attending schools/colleges to appear for their examinations. Students who haven’t been vaccinated and even those who have been must follow these steps to prevent themselves from getting the COVID-19 virus and spreading it to others.
Precaution for students
Prevention has always been better than cure, and students must take the following preventive measures to ensure their safety this exam season. Students must practise safe distancing.
Social distancing is mandatory to avoid the spread of disease. The U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and WHO recommend maintaining at least 6 feet or 2 metres of distance between yourself and others outside your household. Although that might not be practically possible in some schools and colleges, students must try to stay as far as possible. Keeping the following steps in mind will help in social distancing when in school:
- Students should not assemble in groups before and after the exams to discuss the questions or their preparation.
- Students must try to stay in outdoor spaces during meals and recess when possible. Avoid confined spaces.
- Students must use face masks and shields: Students appearing for exams are at risk because there are many people present in the examination halls. It is mandatory for students to wear a well-fitted mask indoors in public, whether they are vaccinated or not.
Guidelines for wearing a mask
Here are some tips for the use of face masks:
- Wearing face masks is vital when it is hard to maintain social distance, such as carpool drop-off or pickup, buses, and when entering the building.
- Students must keep multiple clean face masks with them as a backup.
- They must also keep a clean, resealable bag to store the mask when they cannot wear it.
- Label your masks so that they are not confused with somebody else’s.
- Avoid touching the cloth portions and clean hands before and after touching the mask.
- Instruct your child to never share or trade masks with others.
Cleaning and disinfecting are the most important
Students must practice hand-washing at home and school with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Here are some important points:
- Students must clean their hands, especially before and after eating.
- Coughing/sneezing or adjusting a face mask again requires cleaning and disinfecting hands.
- When hand-washing is not available, use a hand sanitiser.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth all the time.
- When at home, clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, faucets, keyboards, tablets, and phones.
Don’t skip vaccinations
Those who have their exams scheduled in the next few months must get vaccinated as soon as possible. This season, all school students should get a flu shot because the flu and COVID-19 cause similar symptoms. Although it does not protect against COVID-19, it can lessen the risk of the flu, adding another layer of defence.
Everyone above the age of 12 must get the vaccine against Covid-19. Several clinical trials bear testimony to the safety and effectiveness of the available vaccines. An effective vaccine helps reduce mild, moderate, and severe conditions of COVID-19.
Students should be careful once they are vaccinated because they can spread the infection to others even if they stay safe from the disease. Getting a vaccine does not mean you can move out without a mask or push aside safety measures.
Food and nutrition tips for Covid-19 prevention
A healthy diet promotes immunity, and this exam season, students must incorporate foods that serve as immunity boosters. Here are some points on the list that students must consider:
- Students must limit their salt, sugar, and fat intake.
- Prefer fruits and vegetables that have high fibre content.
- Students must stay hydrated and drink water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. They can add a dash of lemon, cucumber, or herbs such as mint to enhance the taste.
- Students must completely avoid junk food and even meals from restaurants and public places. Opt for home-hooked healthy food items to stay strong.
- Citrus fruits build up your immune system. So, students must turn to grapefruits, lemons, and limes.
- Incorporating garlic, ginger, spinach, and yoghurt also profoundly impact the body’s immune system.
Covid Guidelines for school authorities
It is the responsibility of school authorities to provide optimal conditions that pose minimal Covid-19 risks. Schools can take these extra measures to extend safety:
- Reducing the number of students on school buses.
- Space out all the desks and have them all face in the same direction.
- Use physical barriers, like plexiglass shields and partitions, to separate students and teachers.
- Divide students into cohorts to reduce interaction.
- Schools must encourage the use of sanitisers and leaning of hands.
- Thoroughly sanitise all the equipment, tables, and chairs.
Special Covid-19 guidelines by CBSE
CBSE has released an official notice regarding Covid-19 guidelines for the Term II board examinations. The important points are as follows:
- Only 18 students will be allowed to sit in the same classroom.
- Students must ensure social distancing.
- Masks are mandatory in a few cities, as per the prevalent conditions. Students must check the local advisory for the same.
- Temperature checks are mandatory for all.
- Vaccination is not mandatory.
- The students must report to the designated exam centres before time to avoid crowding the examination centre.
- Students can only carry a bottle of water, sanitiser and mask in addition to their transparent pencil box.
Learn more about safety guidelines for CBSE Class 10 Term II exams.
NTA’s important instructions for candidates appearing for the exams
NTA has issued special guidelines for students appearing for NEET 2022 and JEE Main 2022. Here are the highlights of their official notice:
- As a precaution for COVID-19, the students must report in advance to their respective centres as indicated in the Reporting/Entry time. This step is vital to avoid crowding at the centres.
- Students must carefully read the instructions for COVID-19 given with the NEET 2022 Admit Card or JEE Admit Card.
- Every student must carry a personal hand sanitiser (50 ml).
- Students must carry a self-declaration (undertaking) regarding COVID-19 as per the given format.
- In the case of a student with a scribe, both must abide by the guidelines and bring their mask.
- Students must maintain a space of at least six feet from one another at entry time.
- They must sanitise their hands before entering by washing with soap and hand sanitiser.
- Hand sanitiser will be made available at several locations in the centre.
- Students will be offered a fresh three-ply mask before they enter. They are expected to wear the freshly provided mask during exam time.
- At the time of entry, the staff will check the body temperature and an undertaking on admit card.
- Before every shift begins, the seating area will be thoroughly sanitised. The authorities must disinfect the monitor keyboard, mouse, webcam, desk, and chair.
- Students can further sanitise the seat and belongings made available in the examination.
- Every student must sign on the attendance sheet after sanitising their hands.
Covid-19 is not over yet. Students take extra precautions to maintain their safety during examination times. Wearing a mask is not sufficient; a lot more requires attention. Also, students need to be cautious about their health and immunity. Even the slight flu can hamper their studies. Sickness can push an aspirant’s year-long preparations into disarray. Eat healthily and keep your mind active. Cumulative efforts from both schools and students are a prerequisite in the present challenging conditions to combat the deadly virus.