Three students who wrote Kerala engineering entrance exam test positive
Three students who wrote the Kerala Engineering Architecture and Medical (KEAM) entrance examination have tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday even as the opposition slammed chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan for ignoring their warning and conducting the examination.
Two of the infected students are from Thiruvananthapuram and the third is from Kozhikode in north Kerala. A parent also tested positive in the state capital. But the CM downplayed it saying desperate opposition was trumping up issues to put the state’s Coved-19 record in a bad light. He said there was no need to worry in this regard.
At least 88,000 students had appeared for the KEAM examination on July16 in the midst of lockdown in many areas. Many opposition leaders including Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor had requested the government to postpone it in view of the pandemic situation but the CM rejected them citing the earlier instances of holding SSLC and higher secondary examinations.
After the examination, photos and videos of large crowds of students and parents had appeared on social media and many took a dig at the government for conducting such an examination where social distancing could not be observed despite the state capital being under lockdown.
“The CM takes everything personally and is adamant on his stand. We all pleaded considering the impending danger but he ignored our pleas. We wish he could have heard our pleas,” said Congress leader P C Vishnunath.
Meanwhile, the state has reported 720 new cases of coronavirus, taking the total to 13,994. Out of these, 8,056 are active cases and 5,892 have recovered. With one more death, total casualties went up to 45. Among the 720 new cases, 528 are locally- transmitted ones, including 17 among the health workers and six among the paramilitary personnel, said the CM, adding there was a concerted bid to portray the state’s good work in a bad light.
“Our main concern is to limit the damage and save as many lives as possible in trying times. But some people are out to sabotage it. They are quite intolerant towards the recognition the state is earning,” he said.
He asked the opposition to spell out its contribution in six-month’s fight against the pandemic.