Gaokao goes smoothly in S. China’s Guangzhou amid COVID-19 resurgence
Published: Jun 07, 2021 05:49 PM
Gaokao kicks off as scheduled despite sporadic COVID-19 cases Photo:Li Hao/GT

Gaokao kicks off as scheduled despite sporadic COVID-19 cases Photo:Li Hao/GT

A total of 52,888 students have sat the gaokao exam under strict epidemic prevention measures in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province, amid an unexpected COVID-19 resurgence. 

As the only city in the Chinese mainland that currently has high-risk areas for COVID-19, Guangzhou has made full preparations to protect its examinees as they sit the possibly life-changing exams. 

The 2021 gaokao, or the national college entrance examinations, kicked off at 9 am sharp on Monday. The process is generally being carried out in a safe and orderly manner, said local authorities.

Of the examinees in the city, 819 students are located in high-risk areas or centralized medical management areas, or need inter-region transport. All of them arrived on time at the test center on Monday to take the exam. In the event of any unforeseen situation, the city has set up 11 isolated exam rooms at 58 exam sites. 

Two students, who were previously diagnosed as asymptomatic COVID-19 cases, took their gaokao from the hospital after their health conditions were properly assessed by medics. Two invigilators will proctor the exam through surveillance cameras installed in the room, with another two nurses assisting the invigilators.

This is the first time in gaokao history that an exam room has been set up at an isolation ward. The medical staff prepared nutritious meals for the examinees and arranged for counseling by a psychologist. After the exam, their examination rooms will undergo two rounds of disinfection.

In terms of epidemic prevention and control throughout the exam, two rounds of nucleic acid tests for both students and related personnel had been carried out before gaokao, and all results came back negative. A total of 1,198 samples were collected from the environment around the examination sites and all came back testing negative, said local authorities.

Candidates who have been staying in isolated hotels have been transferred to isolated examination centers to take the examinations. Each student was assigned one car and one driver for point-to-point transportation, reports said.

Starting from May 24, all examinees in Guangzhou were required to monitor and submit their 14-day health status and whereabouts to their schools, said the Guangzhou Education Bureau last week. For those failing to submit the information, a negative nucleic acid test result valid within seven days should be provided before entering examination venues.

Upon entering the examination halls, all students are required to take their body temperatures. Those with fever, coughs or showing other respiratory symptoms will be taken to an isolation venue specifically prepared for emergency conditions, and can still attend the exam in an isolation room after getting the approval from onsite medical workers and with a negative nucleic acid test result.

Examinees from low-risk areas are allowed to take off their masks after entering the venue, but students from medium- or high-risk areas, or those taking the exam in isolation rooms, must wear protective masks throughout the whole process.

The city currently has two high-risk areas and nine medium-risk areas, and reported four locally transmitted COVID-19 cases on Sunday. A total of 102 cases have been reported in Guangzhou's latest COVID-19 resurgence.

Global Times