During the first wave of coronavirus pandemic, when COVID-19 was spreading like a wildfire in the western countries, India did a wonderful job in fighting the global pandemic despite its huge population. But where did we go wrong? There could be multiple factors that resulted in the spike of COVID-19 cases in India, but one of the major reasons that severely impacted the country’s response towards COVID-19 is the shortage of health care workers.

Looking at the shortage of health care personnel and a frightful surge of COVID-19 cases across India, the Central government may ask final-year students of medical and nursing courses to join the COVID force and help the country fight the second wave of the pandemic. The decision came during a review meeting by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to augment human resources for effective COVID-19 management.  Apart from this, the meeting also took steps to incentivise those students joining the COVID duty.

Why students are being included?

Amid the continuous surge of COVID-19 cases in India, the country is also suffering from a shortage of health care workers. While there is a lot of talk about the shortage of beds, oxygen and ventilators, India also needs to have enough human resources in order to run the medical infrastructure that we have right now. The recent decision of the government to utilise the services of the final year MBBS and nursing students in COVID duty is made in order to cope with the shortage of human resources in the medical infrastructure of the country.

The inclusion of the medical students also came amid the 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. Apart from this, the condition of hospitals, morgues and crematoriums have created a dire need to increase the medical personnel in the country.

In addition to all this, while the government is working towards fulfilling the requirement of medical personnel in the country, the government should also focus on distributing the health professionals in both rural and urban areas, instead of just concentrating the density of doctors in urban areas.

Perks that will be given to the students who join the COVID duty:

As per various sources, final year MBBS and nursing students who will join COVID duty will get financial incentives from the government. Apart from this, the students joining the force amid this crisis might also be given preference in the government recruitments.

Centre may even delay NEET PG 2021:

As the Indian government is planning to utilise graduated medical and nursing students for COVID-19 duty, it is being believed that the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test, NEET PG 2021 is likely to get delayed further. The government is thinking to put forward the option to ask medical and nursing students preparing for NEET PG 2021 to join the COVID duty.