Hyderabad: Postgraduate students of Osmania Medical College, Hyderabad, who are preparing for their exams scheduled to start on 20 June, are nervous and concerned after two students tested positive for COVID-19 on 30 May.

A first-year female student from the gynecology department and a final-year male student of general medicine tested positive in Osmania on Saturday. A sample of the male student's roommate, who has symptoms of COVID-19, has also been sent for testing.

Dr. Naresh Rena, a postgraduate student from Osmania, told NewsMeter, “The general medicine student who tested positive visited our reading room. He used to interact with at least 15 to 20 students in the reading room during combined studies. In the mess, he would meet another 50-70 students. We are all in a state of panic.”

The students are demanding the examination be postponed. “It is difficult to concentrate on our studies under these circumstances. Both the first-year and second-year students work with patients at Osmania. The patients are shifted to Gandhi Hospital when they test positive. However, until then all PG students are in primary contact with them and we all spend time together in the reading room and mess. With two students already testing positive, we don’t know how many have actually been infected. In this situation, we are not mentally prepared to write an exam," a student said, adding all the students will have to write their exam in a common exam hall which is not advisable.

Another student from the gynecology department said it's a traumatising situation and nobody is sure how many students have been infected. “We don’t know whether we are already infected and are spreading it to other people in the hospital. The female student who tested positive was on duty all these days. She was shifted to an isolation ward in Osmania only after she started showing symptoms. On Sunday morning, her results came back positive and she was shifted to Gandhi Hospital. She has interacted with many people during the time and it's difficult to trace her contacts. Almost 80 per cent of people are asymptomatic. It is also difficult for us to concentrate on our studies during such times. We want all the postgraduate students to get tested for COVID-19 immediately.”

As many as four deaths and 169 new COVID-19 cases were reported in a span of 24 hours on 28 May in Telangana. According to the official health bulletin, this is the highest number of cases recorded in the state since the outbreak. Of the total 169, the highest number of cases (82) were from Hyderabad, followed by Ranga Reddy (14). The city has witnessed a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases and an alarming death rate after certain lockdown relaxations were announced.

Dheeshma Puzhakkal

Dheeshma Puzhakkal is currently a Reporter with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University, she has interned with Greater Kashmir newspaper and NDTV. Dheeshma has also made short films and documentaries. Her documentary �Still I Rise�, which is based on sex-trafficking in Hyderabad�s Old City, has earned accolades in several film festivals, such as International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Kerala (IDSFFK). An avid foodie, she loves to travel and listen to stories that others tell. Photography is one of her all-time interests. She has extensively written on satellite-based journalism, health, consumer, and data stories besides covering anti-crime investigative agencies.

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