Amid the rising coronavirus cases, a private dental college located near Pune city in Maharashtra has asked over 150 of its students to appear for examination in person next month, after getting quarantined there for two weeks.
Students of the undergraduate and postgraduate dental courses of the D Y Patil Dental College and Hospital in Pimpri town said they have been asked to take COVID-19 test before leaving from their respective cities and reach college at least two weeks prior to the exam and get quarantined.
The students and their parents have demanded that the exams be postponed in view of the COVID-19 situation.
The college authorities, however, said all safety measures, screening, social distancing norms, sanitation will be followed during the exam.
This exam was supposed to be held in the first half of the year. But due to the coronavirus situation, it had been postponed, they said.
A relative of one of the students, who does not want to be named, said, "The management has asked the students to come to the college by the first week of September and get quarantined for two weeks before appearing for the exam in the third week of that month."
"Everyone knows the situation in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad. Besides, there is a COVID-19 isolation facility on the college campus. Despite all this, the college is asking students to come and appear for the exam," he said.
He added that the college should postpone the exams as the coronavirus situation in Pimpri Chinchwad is not good.
"Since most of the students are from out of the state, they will have to come either by plane or bus and there is a risk of contracting the infection in the process," he said.
According to the relative, the students have been asked to take COVID-19 test before leaving the respective city.
The college is affiliated to Dr D Y Patil Vidyapeeth, deemed-to-be-university.
Its Vice Chancellor, Dr N J Pawar, however, reassured the parents and students that the college has taken all the precautions to conduct the exam of over 150 students of the BDS and MDS courses.
"I reassure the students and parents that the college has taken all the necessary steps to ensure that all the safety measures, screening, social distancing norms, sanitation will be followed during the conduct of the exams," he added.
As a precautionary measure, the students have been asked to take COVID-19 test so that they are completely confident before starting the journey.
"We have already conducted the exam of our medical streams and the results of those exams are also declared. All these students who passed the exams are currently serving in the current crisis situation," he said.
He added that the Medical Council of India, Dental Council of India are of the opinion that manpower (medical practitioners) are needed in this current situation.
Dr Pawar said that hostels will be made available for quarantine.
"There is no problem for the 159 students to appear for the exam as there is a sitting capacity of 250 people where it will be conducted," he said.
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