As many as 37,459 candidates had registered with National Testing Agency (NTA) to appear the NEET in Odisha’s seven cities- Berhampur, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Balasore, Angul, Rourkela and Sambalpur. Bhubaneswar received the highest number of candidates at its 31 examination centres.
The examination was started at 2pm and completed by 5pm. Students were waiting outside the centres before 1pm to enter into the examination centres. The candidates followed physically distancing rules while taking their seats in the centres after thermal screening. “The arrangements were good for the examination during this Covid-19 situation. There was a gap between two candidates,” said Sridevi, a NEET candidate while entering her examination centre in Bhubaneswar.
During thermal screening, body temperature of three students from examination centres was high. They were allowed to appear for the examination in isolation centres. “Invigilators attended the students after wearing PPE kits. All precautions have been taken to ensure safety of students during this pandemic time,” said Poly Patnaik, NEET state coordinator and principal of Mother’s Public School Bhubaneswar.
She said most of the examination centres have reported 90 per cent attendance in the NEET. “We are yet to get exact numbers of candidates appearing the entrance test in all 83 centres. Gradually it will come. But many centres reported that around 90 per cent candidates have appeared the test,” she added.
Saileza Biswal, who attended an examination centre in the city, said physics was a bit tough for her. “Biology subject was easy to answer. Chemistry was not tough like physics. As I had already appeared the JEE Main recently, I was well aware about the rules while entering into the centre. Examination went smoothly amid pandemic,” she added.
Those candidates who missed the examination after being tested positive for Covid-19 will get another opportunity to sit for the test. Date of this test will be announced later, sources said.
The state government had made arrangements for accommodation and transportation of candidates in different cities. The East Coast Railway (ECoR) has run four trains for candidates to return to their native places. These trains were run in the routes of Bhubaneswar-Keonjhargarh, Bhubaneswar-Bhadrak, Sambalpur-Rayagada and Sambalpur-Khariar Road.