Gulf Today

Kerala governor intervenes to postpone varsity exams

- Ashraf Padanna

TRIVANDRUM: Kerala governor Arif Mohammed Khan, who is also the chancellor/visitor of all the state’s universiti­es, has cancelled all exams amid an alarming surge in COVID-19 cases.

Khan instructed the universiti­es to postpone all their offline exams ater the interventi­on of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor.

Besides drawing the governor’s atention on the phone, he also made a representa­tion demanding the same.

Tharoor said he had received a “flurry of representa­tions” from students and parents of all universiti­es where students pursue medicine, engineerin­g humanities and law.

“The conduct of examinatio­ns during the worsening condition of the pandemic is a matter of concern,” the lawmaker from the state capital said.

“Following the governor’s order, the examinatio­ns have been postponed. The new dates will be announced later.”

Kerala reported 13,835 new cases on Saturday from 81,211 samples tested with the test-positivity rate crossing 17 per cent for the second time since January last year.

The high TPR is a worrying point to the state as the World Health organisati­on (WHO) has set a target of 5 per cent.

The state government has now imposed new curbs with an immediate effect, including registrati­on of those coming from outside the state on the COVID-19 Jagratha portal.

KK Shailaja, the state’s health minister, said the state was well-prepared to meet any emergency as the number of patients needing hospitalis­ation will also go up.

“Those without symptoms can remain in home isolation but if they do not have bath atached rooms should move to domicile care centres,” she said.

Patients with mild symptoms will get accommodat­ed in the temporary set-up first-line treatment centres and those who are severely infected will be shited to hospitals.

Shop owners, administra­tors of public places and organisers of small permited events should get a QR code to restrict entry and record details of visitors.

The new curbs, according to a government order issued late Saturday, call for weddings and house warming ceremonies to be registered.

Details of public functions, including ceremonies like marriage and house warming, should be registered on the ‘COVID-19 Jagratha portal’ in advance.

The state elections on April 6 following large gatherings addressed by national leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi triggered the surge.

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