EghtesadOnline: Iran is expected to postpone its annual university entrance test for the second time, as authorities in charge of holding the test have found it impossible to implement the Health Ministry’s last-minute changes to Covid-19 safety regulations.
Health Minister Saeed Namaki wrote on Instagram on Monday night that the inability of the examination’s authorities to enforce stricter measures introduced by his ministry in a short span of time will most likely delay the entrance test once again, ISNA reported.
The request for postponement will be discussed in Iran’s National Coronavirus Headquarters. If approved, the test will be put off for a month to ensure the safety of over one million students competing for seats in the universities’ undergraduate and graduate programs.
Namaki wrote, “The health of our children is our priority and we will not back down from the stringent measures.”
In response, the Science Ministry and the National Organization for Educational Testing asked for a one-month window to increase testing centers in order to observe social distancing of 2 meters between examinees.
The Health Ministry revised its protocols following a backlash over its handling of two other university entrance tests held over the past two weeks. The new measures are designed to further curb the likelihood of virus transmission.
The number of people infected with coronavirus climbed to 331,189 on Tuesday, up by 2,345 newly confirmed cases, Health Ministry Spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari was quoted as saying by ISNA.
“Iran recorded 184 more deaths due to the contagious disease, taking the countrywide toll to 18,800,” she said.
According to Lari, the number of severely ill patients in intensive care units dropped to 3,983 and recovered patients rose to 288,620.
The health official said Iran has administered 2.73 million coronavirus tests in the past six months.
On adherence to the nationwide facemask wearing order, Lari said, “Mask use by the people outdoor and in offices has reached 72% and 89% of government and bank employees wear face coverings.”
Namaki announced a new approach of fining violators of health protocols.
To ensure compliance, Iran is set to announce penalties against violation of coronavirus-related health codes next Saturday.
Worldwide, 20.2 million have been diagnosed with Covid-19 and 740,000 have lost their lives.