New Delhi: Students appearing for class 10 and 12 board examination will be allowed to carry masks and hand sanitiser in the exam centre in view of coronavirus scare, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) announced on Wednesday.
"Face masks and sanitisers may be carried by students in the examination centre," CBSE Secretary Anurag Tripathi said.
Class 10 and 12 board examinations began on February 15.
Meanwhile, the HRD Ministry directed Chief Secretaries of all states and the CBSE to spread awareness among students on basic protective measures against coronavirus.
HRD Secretary Amit Khare said in a letter that "informed students can be agents of change for their family, community and beyond".
"Central government has taken many steps to contain the spread of this virus but creating awareness amongst general public is extremely important to prevent and reduce transmission of the novel coronavirus.
"In order to create awareness among students, preventive interventions such as frequent hand wash, respiratory etiquettes (using handkerchief over mouth while coughing or sneezing, use of tissue paper or using sleeve of shirt covering upper arm, staying away from school when sick, avoiding public gatherings) would help in preventing or reducing transformation of not only this disease but also a large number of other communicable diseases," Khare said.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare also came out with a school advisory in view of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
All schools have been advised by the government to avoid any large gathering of students in the school premises. As per the advisory, any student or staff with travel history to any COVID-19 affected country or in contact with such persons in the last 28 days should be monitored and home quarantined for 14 days.
Class teachers have been asked to be alert of any possible symptoms among the students like coughing, fever or difficulty in breathing and inform the parents to get them tested, said the advisory. Any affected student should not join school unless okayed by a doctor.
The Health Ministry's advisory also talked about basic hygiene like washing hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water. It also suggested using alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
"Everyone should cover their mouth with a tissue/handkerchief when they cough or sneeze and wash their hands afterwards. Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth. Everyone should throw away used tissues in a bin and wash their hands after contact with coughing/sneezing," said the government advisory.
It has also asked schools to place alcohol-based sanitizers at different spots. The advisory also asked the authorities to monitor the students staying in hostels. It asked people to contact the dedicated call centres should the need arise.
The first case of coronavirus in Delhi was detected on Monday. Six suspected cases have been detected in Agra, who came in contact with the person from Delhi who tested positive. As of today, 29 cases of coronavirus have been reported from India, including a group Italian nationals who are now been quarantined. Three persons from Kerala have been discharged after treatment.
So far, 3,110 people have died across the globe due to the highly contagious virus.