The government has decided to reserve five MBBS seats under the central pool for wards of COVID-19 warriors for the academic year 2020-2021.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said the move aims to dignify and honour the noble contribution made by COVID-19 warriors who have lost their lives due to the infection or died accidently on account of COVID-19-related duty.
The Union Health Ministry has introduced a new category, ‘Wards of COVID Warriors’, in the guidelines for selection and nomination of candidates against central pool MBBS seats.
The selection will be made by the Medical Council Committee (MCC) through online application on the basis of rank obtained in the NEET-2020 conducted by National Testing Agency.
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Vardhan said, “This will honour the solemn sacrifice of all COVID warriors who served with selfless dedication for the cause of duty and humanity.”
Noting that the definition of “COVID warrior” has been laid down by the government while announcing the insurance package of Rs 50 lakh for them, the minister said,” COVID Warriors are all public healthcare providers including community health workers, who may have to be in direct contact and care of COVID-19 patients and who may be at risk of being impacted by this.”
“Private hospital staff and retired/volunteer/ local urban bodies/ contracted/ daily wage/ ad-hoc/ outsourced staff requisitioned by states/central hospitals/ autonomous hospitals of central/ states/UTs, AIIMS and Institutes of National Importance (INIs)/ hospitals of central ministries drafted for COVID-19-related responsibilities are all included,” he added.
The state and union territory (UT) government will certify the eligibility for this category.