India has been hit by a raging second wave of the pandemic (Representative image: Reuters)
The Centre, in view of the second COVID-19 wave, announced a number of key decisions on May 3 to address the human resources challenge in the fight against the pandemic.
The government said it would prioritise those medical personnel for government recruitments who have completed 100 days of COVID-19 duties.
"The individuals providing services in COVID management will be given priority in forthcoming regular government recruitments after they complete minimum of 100 days of COVID duty," the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) stated.
All such professionals who sign up for minimum 100 days of COVID duty and complete it successfully will also be given the Prime Minister’s Distinguished Covid National Service Samman, the government added.Also Read: NEET PG 2021 postponed by atleast four months; Medical and nursing students to be deployed on COVID duty
In the meeting that was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 2, it was also decided to "allow deployment of medical interns in COVID management duties under the supervision of their faculty, as part of the internship rotation", the PMO said.
The medical students and professionals sought to be engaged in COVID related work "will be suitably vaccinated", it further said.
The services of final year MBBS students can be utilised for providing services like tele-consultation and monitoring of mild COVID cases after due orientation by and under supervision of faculty, it added.
"This will reduce the workload on existing doctors engaged in COVID duty and provide boost to efforts of triaging," the statement further noted.
The Centre has also permitted the utilisation of B.SC./GNM qualified nurses in "full-time COVID nursing duties under the supervision of senior doctors and nurses".
The decisions were taken amidst the escalating COVID-19 crisis, with the health infrastructure reportedly being overburdened in parts of the country.
India's active caseload has surged close to the 35 lakh-mark. The country, over the past few days, has been reporting more than 3 lakh daily COVID-19 infections along with more than 3,000 deaths.
The Centre, apart from clearing the deployment of medical students in the COVID-19 fight, also announced the postponement of the upcoming NEET-PG exam 2021 by at least four months.
"This exam will not be held before 31st August 2021. At least one-month time will be given after the announcement of the examination before it is conducted," the PMO said.
"The state/UT governments are to make all efforts to reach out to each such prospective NEET candidates and request them to join the COVID-19 workforce in this hour of need," it added.Follow live coverage of coronavirus-related news and updates here