Covid Impact : The Centre May Ask Final-year MBBS Students To Join Covid Duty, Delay NEET Amid Covid Crisis

The Centre may ask medical students, including final-year students of MBBS, to help India battle coronavirus crisis, as per government sources, amid a shortage of healthcare personnel as India battles the second wave of Covid-19.

Covid Impact : The Centre May Ask Final-year MBBS Students To Join Covid Duty, Delay NEET Amid Covid Crisis
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The Centre may ask medical students, including final-year students of MBBS, to help India battle coronavirus crisis, as per government sources, amid a shortage of healthcare personnel as India battles the second wave of Covid-19.

According to sources, steps to incentivise students and pass-outs of medical and nursing courses to join the Covid-19 duty were taken in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday.

In the meeting, the PM reviewed the human resource situation in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and ways to augment it, sources said.

"In the meeting, many steps to incentivise students and pass-outs of medical and nursing courses to join Covid duty were taken, details of which will come out tomorrow," sources said. Coronavirus Live Updates

“Decisions may include delaying the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and incentivising MBBS pass-outs studying for it to join Covid duty. The decisions may also include utilising the services of final year MBBS and nursing students in Covid Duty. Medical personnel on Covid-19 duty will be given preference in government recruitment as well as a financial incentive,” sources added.

The meeting came amid reports of healthcare personnel feeling overwhelmed in some parts of the country due to the surge in the Covid-19 cases, with testing facilities also being under a strain.

Fighting a devastating second wave of Covid-19, India on Sunday reported its highest single-day toll of 3,689 Covid deaths. The country also saw a slight dip in the daily numbers with 3,92,488 new cases reported in the 24 hours.

‘10,000 oxygenated beds to come up near industrial units’

The government expects to make 10,000 oxygenated beds available in a short period of time by making temporary hospitals near industrial units which produce oxygen of requisite purity to boost the supply of the life-saving gas to fight Covid-19.

Following meetings held by PM Modi on Sunday to review the Covid-19 situation, a statement said the government has also explored the feasibility of conversion of existing nitrogen plants to produce oxygen, and various such potential industries where the existing nitrogen plants may be spared for production of oxygen were identified.

After a meeting on the usage of gaseous oxygen, the government noted that many industries like steel plants, refineries with petrochemical units, industries using rich combustion processes and power plants among others have oxygen plants that produce gaseous oxygen.

"This oxygen can be tapped for medical use," it said.

The strategy being used is to identify industrial units which produce gaseous oxygen of requisite purity, shortlist those which are closer to cities, dense areas and demand centres and establish temporary Covid care establishments with oxygenated beds near that source.

A pilot for five such facilities had already been initiated, the government said. “It is expected that around 10,000 oxygenated beds can be made available in a short period of time by making temporary hospitals near such plants. State governments are being encouraged to set up more such facilities with oxygenated beds to deal with the pandemic," it added.