Updated: April 14, 2021 3:22:18 pm
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has appealed to the Central Board of Secondary Education to cancel the board exams for Classes X and XII in view of the fourth wave of Covid cases in Delhi. Kejriwal said the city has seen 13,500 cases in the past 24 hours, the highest till date. On Monday, 11,491 cases were recorded. The toll is also increasing, with 72 people dying in 24 hours.
“Around 6 lakh children will write these exams and 1 lakh teachers will be involved. These exams centres can become hotspots. The health and well-being of children is very important. I appeal to CBSE with folded hands that the exams be cancelled. Some other method of evaluation can be thought of – online or internal assessment perhaps. But cancelling these exams is crucial. Many countries have also cancelled exams; some Indian states have done it too. These exams should be cancelled too,” he said.
CBSE board examinations are scheduled to begin on May 4. Sources in the Education Ministry told The Indian Express that holding the examinations on time seems “difficult”, given the increase in fresh infections.
While the government now seems open to reconsidering the examination dates, officers said it was too early to indicate the exact changes to the schedule.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra board has deferred SSC, HSC exams. MP Board too has announced postponement of the board exams.
The Chief Minister said that the number of cases among those under the age of 45 was higher and they comprised 65 per cent of the case load over the past 10-15 days.
Also read | Voices to cancel CBSE board exams get louder
“I appeal to the youth to stay at home if they can. You are very important to us as well as your families. Your health and your safety is important to us, you are our future. I understand that you are responsible for your families; you have to go out and work. My appeal is that you go out only if necessary, and when you do, follow all Covid related protocols and precautions,” he said.
He also appealed to all those over the age of 45 to get vaccinated. “The vaccine is free at government hospitals and many centres are open through the night for vaccination.
The government is also attaching a few hotels and banquet halls with hospitals so that patients who are not serious can be admitted there.
“If someone needs oxygen only, they can be shifted to these places, where hospital staff will administer oxygen. For example, a banquet hall opposite Lok Nayak Hospital is being used. Some hospitals have been declared 100 per cent Covid hospitals. I appeal for everyone’s cooperation. I can understand that those with non-Covid ailments will be affected. Where planned surgeries that can be delayed by two-three months, they should be. There are ample facilities for emergencies in the city. The number of planned surgeries is higher. For other cases, we have enough infrastructure for other non-Covid emergencies. If we are able to manage the health infrastructure, we will get past this,” he said.
Kejriwal also said that doctors in hospitals will be assessing hospitalisation needs of those admitted in hospitals already.
“Every patient in hospital is being checked to see if they need hospitalisation or not. Those who can recover at home will be requested to go back. We will monitor you regularly. If you feel ill again, you will be brought back to the hospital. Please cooperate with doctors. We have to take care of the entire city. Every life is precious,” he said.
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