Hong Kong Goes Ahead With University Entrance Exams for 50,000 Students

Hong Kong is going ahead with exams for approximately 50,000 students starting Friday, though schools remain closed to fight the spread of the new coronavirus.

The Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) is a qualification used for university entrance and is a climax of Hong Kong’s high-pressure school system.

These exams were postponed by a month because of COVID-19.

To cope with virus concerns and get the exams done, schools now implemented special precautions, from temperature checks, to spacing desks further apart than ususal and weaing protective masks, gloves and sanitizer for invigilators.

Education authorities allowed media pool coverage of the starting morning of exams, but instructed media to avoid making close-up images of individual students.

Friday’s first exams are Visual Arts. The whole DSE exam season takes around a month and, if all remains stable, should be over by late May.

Hong Kong has recorded single-digit numbers of new COVID -19 cases for 12 days up to Thursday, but restrictions are still in place on gatherings – a maximum of four – as well as the closure of some businesses like beauty salons, bars and karaoke venues.

Restaurants can still open, but must accept fewer customers and keep them further apart than usual.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks.

But the virus is highly contagious and can be spread by those with mild or no visible symptoms.

For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and could lead to death.

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