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Final steps taken for safe entrance exam

By Zou Shuo | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-12-23 07:00
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Participants in the upcoming National Postgraduate Entrance Exam take COVID-19 nucleic acid tests on Wednesday at Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University. CHENG SIWEI/FOR CHINA DAILY

Epidemic control measures in place to ensure participants not at risk

Exam authorities and universities are making the final epidemic control preparations for the upcoming national postgraduate entrance exam, to ensure that all entrants can participate safely.

The Ministry of Education, the Office of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission, the Ministry of Public Security and the National Administration of Disease Prevention and Control said on Wednesday that the utmost efforts will be required to make sure that the exam, which takes place from Saturday to Monday, runs smoothly.

Local authorities should prioritize offering nucleic acid tests to entrants and provide the results to entrants and test centers in a timely manner, according to a release from the Ministry of Education.

The ministry said in an earlier notice that local authorities should set up separate exam centers for participants who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Entrants should wear masks before entering test centers and are advised to keep them on during the exam. Each test center will be equipped with masks, hand sanitizer and at least one medical worker, it said.

Proper ventilation and disinfection steps should be taken before and after each exam, and local authorities can take extra precautions to minimize the risk of infection, it added.

Participants from a province or region other than where the test center is located and who would have difficulty returning can apply to take the exam in the region where they are now, the ministry said.

The Jiangsu province education examination authority had required that all test takers have a nucleic acid test on Tuesday and report their results to an online system before Wednesday.

Entrants who have tested positive for COVID and those who have a high temperature will take the test in separate centers, while test takers who had negative COVID test results but showed symptoms including fever, cough or fatigue should report to monitors immediately, the Jiangsu authority said.

Beijing Jiaotong University had asked test takers to monitor their health condition beginning on Monday and report nucleic acid test results or antigen test results before Tuesday.

Entrants who tested positive or have COVID symptoms should wear N95 or KN95 masks during the exam, while others are also encouraged to wear masks, the university said.

The university has also arranged a separate canteen and places for test takers to take a nap during the exam.

Zhou Xia, executive deputy dean of postgraduate studies at Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, said 2,152 entrants are expected to take the exam at the university this year, which would be a record.

The university has set aside 11 test centers for 291 entrants who have tested positive for COVID-19, and it will ensure they remain separate from other test takers, she said.

The university has also arranged for extra monitors for the exam and reminded them to take extra epidemic control precautions, Zhou said.

The university is equipped with enough epidemic control equipment. Each test center will be disinfected thoroughly twice a day, and the canteen will be disinfected once a day, she added.

Jiang Fanxuan, 21, a senior student at Peking University, will take the exam at the university.

All of the epidemic control measures will ensure the health and safety of test takers while also making sure that those who test positive for COVID can still take the exam, she said.

She tested positive for COVID about 10 days ago but only had mild symptoms, so it has not affected her studies much, she said.

"Although nobody wants to get infected, getting it early can make sure I am healthy during the exam," she added.

Jiang said the pressure of the exam is very high, and she stopped studying whenever she felt depressed. "I have cried secretly sometimes, and you can just get over the pressure by yourself."

A total of 4.57 million people signed up for the exam this year, and experts believe the number will increase again next year.

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