• Monday, Oct 18, 2021
  • Last Update : 06:08 pm

S Korea students sit college exam behind plastic barriers and in hospitals due to Covid-19

  • Published at 06:11 pm December 3rd, 2020
S Korea Exam
Students wait for the start of a college entrance exam amid the Covid-19 pandemic at an exam hall, in Seoul on December 3, 2020 AFP

Some 35 people who have tested positive for Covid-19 sat for the test at designated hospitals

Nearly half a million South Korean students nervously began a hyper-competitive university entrance exam on Thursday, with Covid-19 students taking the exam in hospital and others separated by transparent barriers.

South Korea is battling a third wave of Covid-19 infections, forcing authorities to take strict steps to ensure all students could safely take the test, deemed a life-defining event for high school seniors to win a degree that could help land a better job in Asia's fourth-largest economy.

Police and school officials guarded some 31,000 test venues across the country, which in normal years are usually filled with praying parents and cheering squads distributing hot drinks and snacks.

"It's my second test, and I just wanted to get it done despite the risks of contracting the coronavirus. That's all I was thinking about coming here," Jeon Young-jin, 19, told Reuters in front of a test venue in Seoul.

Some 35 people who have tested positive for Covid-19 sat for the test at designated hospitals, while special venues were provided to help another 404 who are in self isolation.

Proctors for the confirmed and suspected cases were required to wear protective equipment and collect exam papers in plastic bags and wipe them before handing over to the staff outside.

At a high school in central Seoul, students lined up for temperature checks and disinfection before entering the venue, and transparent barriers were installed at all desks, according to video released by the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education.

Won Seon-hun, father of a high school senior, said he had not even had a meal with his son over the past week though he minimized outside activity due to Covid-19 concerns.

"My wife bought all the groceries online, and I never went out except for work - no friends' gatherings, just staying home," Won said after sending off his son.

The test is a major event in South Korea, with businesses and the stock market opening later than usual to reduce traffic for test-takers, while flights from airports are suspended for a brief period during a language listening test.

The annual exam came as South Korea grapples with a resurgence of Covid-19 outbreaks, with the number of daily cases hovering around 500 over the past couple of weeks, a level not seen since March.

The government has tightened social distancing curbs, and declared a two-week special anti-virus period ahead of the exam.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) reported 540 new cases on Friday, including 516 domestic infections and 24 imported.

The country's total tally rose to 35,703, with 529 deaths.

76
Facebook 75
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail