An estimated 88 per cent of a total of 37,459 candidates on Sunday appeared in the medical entrance examination (NEET) held in 83 centres spread across seven cities of Odisha, official sources said.
The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test was held strictly adhering to the COVID-19 protocol across the state, said NEET State Nodal officer Polly Patnaik.
"An estimated 88 per cent of the candidates appeared for the NEET examination today," Patnaik told PTI, adding that there was absolutely no problem in any centre across the state.
While thanking the state government, the nodal officer said the candidates were allowed entry into the examination centres after thermal screening and provided with face masks and sanitiser. The state government and railways made transportation facilities of students and their guardians.
The students were lodged in six separate engineering college hostels in Bhubaneswar, Khurda district magistrate-cum-collector S K Mohanty said, adding that the candidates were also provided with local transport facilities through auto-rickshaws and taxis.
Mohanty said invigilators were also provided PPEs while performing examination duty. Medical teams were deployed in all the examination centres.
A maximum of 12 candidates were allowed to sit in one room, he said, adding that examination was conducted from 11 am to 5 pm in strict adherence to health safety protocols to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease.
The nodal officer said candidates appeared in the examination wearing face masks and maintaining social distance in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Angul, Berhampur, Rourkela, Balasore and Sambalpur.
The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) had made accommodation for NEET candidates and their parents, said BMC commissioner P C Chaudhury.