SC pauses Class 11 exams in Kerala to protect ‘tender age’ teens from COVID
The court wondered if the Kerala government had, in fact, considered the huge spike in daily numbers when it decided to go ahead with the exams
The Supreme Court on Friday stayed a Kerala government decision to hold offline Class 11 exams, citing the “alarming” COVID-19 situation in the state.
The court said the exams should paused for a week so that “children of tender age” are not exposed to the risk of contracting the virus.
“There is an alarming situation in Kerala. It accounts for more than 70 per cent of cases in the country, with around 35,000 daily cases. Children of tender age can’t be exposed to this risk,” a bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Hrishikesh Roy and CT Ravikumar said.
Justice Roy said Kerala “has one of the best medical infrastructures… but has not been able to contain COVID cases”.
“I have been chief justice of Kerala and I can say Kerala has one of the best medical infrastructures in the country. Despite that, Kerala has not been able to contain COVID cases,” he said.
The court wondered if the Kerala government had, in fact, considered the huge spike in daily numbers when it decided to go ahead with the exams.
Offline Class 11 exams were scheduled to begin from September 6.
The court was responding to a petition that challenged the decision of the Kerala High Court to not interfere with the state government’s proposal to hold offline exams.
The cumulative COVID case count in the state crossed 41 lakh on Thursday, with more than 32,000 cases recorded in the previous 24 hours.
The test positivity rate was 18.41 per cent, a state government release said.
The 32,097 new COVID cases recorded on Thursday were nearly 70 per cent of total cases reported from across the country; the next highest state was Maharashtra with 4,456 cases.
Kerala has been reporting more than 30,000 new cases per day for the past few days.
Earlier this week, the Union health ministry said Kerala needs to step up efforts to curb the numbers, and called for a “smart and strategic” lockdown.