Mumbai: Covid duty has few takers among medical students | Mumbai News

MUMBAI: Two days after medical colleges issued circulars requesting undergraduate students from the second, third and fourth years to report for Covid duty, the response has been abysmal. Parents of outstation students are unwilling to send them to Mumbai, the hotbed of Covid-19, while local students have queries about the nature of work, accommodation and food.
On Sunday, three faculty members and the dean of Nair Hospital held a meeting with nearly 70 students, who were willing to join, but had apprehensions. The hospital is said to have clarified that students would be posted either at the hospital or at the jumbo facilities where asymptomatic patients are admitted and not in communities.
“We were told the duties will involve interpreting X-rays and ECGs and monitoring blood pressure, sugar, besides counselling, maintaining medical records, contact tracing, etc. Junior students will be given clerical jobs. We can back out whenever we wish to or if we are not provided with safety gear,” said a student.
An official from Nair Hospital, a dedicated Covid hospital, said they are reaching out to students from private and deemed colleges as well. “Nearly 250 students from across the state have shown an interest so far. We are trying to work out the logistics,” said the official.
At KEM, the students were asked to list out their queries and hand it over to the administration. At Cooper, the administration is reaching out to students individually. “These students are tech savvy and can help in better data compilation and also counsel patients’ relatives,” said a doctor from Cooper Hospital.
Many students were also disappointed that the circulars mentioned a ‘probable’ incentive of Rs 30,000. The administration has assured the incentive will be offered. Officials have also assured the issue of medical insurance would be taken up with the government.

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