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Students fear Covid spread from patients in dental exam - New Delhi News

New Delhi, June 12 (IANS) In a move that has put students at risk and left them petrified, the Dental Council of India (DCI) is proposing to conduct under graduate and post graduate practical exams with patients at a time when Covid-19 is wreaking havoc across the country.

Updated Jun 12, 2020 17:10 PM

Students fear Covid spread from patients in dental exam - New Delhi News

The DCI, on June 2, issued an advisory on holding UG and PG Examination-2020 by the dental colleges and universities.

It is asking universities to "make available the flow of patients to assess the skill and clinical expertise of a student".

"Since, the dentistry is clinical and skill-oriented profession and involves the patient care, therefore, all the institutions/universities shall make its best efforts to make available the flow of patients to assess the skill and clinical expertise of a student," the DCI said.

During the clinical and practical examination of the student, the dental institution/universities shall comply with all Covid-19 protocols on infection control and patient care, it said.

The DCI is cognizant that some procedures can generate aerosol which is hazardous. "However, certain clinical procedures which generate aerosol, can be substituted by using hand instruments, air-motor or micro-motor equipments, but, again with due compliance of the advisories, guidelines, instructions, etc. issued by the Government of India, respective State Government and District Administration, from time to time," it said.

On this issue, the students are making representations to change the pattern of the exam and instead use typodont with natural teeth, rather than patients.

The DCI is sticking to the same exam pattern even though it has said that exams are to be postponed till the districts or state becomes Covid-free which may take a long time, maybe even six months.

It was suggested by the universities to hold exams but not on patients as usual but on typodonts with natural teeth so there is no danger of aerosol and Covid infection but, this was rejected by the DCI.

As a result, students all over the country are stuck and don't want to take the exam because of fear of Covid which is legitimate as dental procedures can cause Covid infections.

The DCI said, in its advisory, that it has received several representations on the difficulties faced in conducting examinations at the time of a pandemic.

"The Dental Council of India is in receipt of various representations from different professional associations and universities expressing their difficulties in holding the examination at both UG and PG levels during this period and also in getting appointed their External Examiner for practical/viva-voce examination due to restriction in travel imposed due to current pandemic situation," it said.

On the date of the examinations, the DCI has said that the exams for final year BDS/MDS students will be conducted as per advisory at a suitable time as and when the normalcy in a district/state is restored. No specific time frame may be prescribed, it said.

Similarly, the exams for first, second and third year BDS will conducted when normalcy is restored. "The colleges are free to allow the students to commence their studies for next higher classes. However, the students shall have to pass their examination as and when it is conducted by respective colleges and universities for the previous year of professional BDS course," the DCI said.

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